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Machine over Man

General discussions of the systemic, societal and civilisational effects of depletion.

Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 15 Oct 2017, 15:33:12

The only things I have battery powered now is a Makita cordless drill and a Roby string trimmer. The drill is awesome and I use it to tap maple trees. The string trimmer not so much unless you are careful to not let the weeds get ahead of you.
The Missis and I have been working up the winter wood pile today using the JD tractor with grapple, a Husqvarna 455 rancher saw with a 20 inch bar and our Yardman 25 ton wood splitter. If I had to buy another splitter I'd choose one with a taller wedge on the far end with a work table beyond it to catch the pieces for easy re splits. The configuration I have allows you to stand the beam vertical so you can roll in big blocks but I use the tractor to pick up anything heavy to beam height so would make the trade off. At first I thought the yard machine splitter was a bit slow but have come to realize it is old man speed and I'm fast becoming an old man.
I find that if I try to do more then three or four logs a day, about half a cord my arthritic right shoulder and right elbow have issues that they insist on discussing for several days after the fact. :evil:
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 15 Oct 2017, 20:55:11

vtsnowedin wrote:
ralfy wrote:
I think the increase in life expectancy involved more than vaccinations, the global population was much smaller then, the level of ecological damage much greater now (not to mention global warming), and the level of armaments production and availability unprecedented.

I've read somewhere that the largest factor in increased life expectancy has been the introduction safe drinking water and proper sewage disposal in our urban areas. The running hot water we have in even our poorest housing makes our lives so much healthier then the world standard right up to Victorian times.

And refrigeration is not far behind. Simple things, preventing widespread deadly disease seem to go a long way. So vaccinations are just a smaller, more specific step.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_an ... ad_to.html
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 15 Oct 2017, 21:15:54

It has to come down to reasonable prices for the service rendered.
I had my appendix removed at age nine (1964). I was in the hospital for five days and the bill came to almost $1000 dollars covered by my father's blue cross insurance from his previous union job.
Want to guess what that same procedure and outcome would cost today?
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 05:12:18

vtsnowedin wrote: I've read somewhere that the largest factor in increased life expectancy has been the introduction safe drinking water and proper sewage disposal in our urban areas. The running hot water we have in even our poorest housing makes our lives so much healthier then the world standard right up to Victorian times.


Indeed, as mentioned here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expe ... _over_time

with 25 years added thanks to that. Other factors include availability of food, medicine, vitamins, vaccines, etc.

The catch is that the population then was much smaller, environmental damage not as significant as what we see today, etc.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 10:23:21

Subjectivist wrote:No human civilization is eternal. Your statement implies the current civilization will shrug off peak oil and go along its merry way. You also imply the glut will last for a long time and that lithium mining will solve energy problems despite the still growing world population. That is far less than assured, to put it mildly.


I am NOT implying that civilization will simply "go on its merry way". What part of the end of my statement where I emphasize AGW impacts did you overlook?

I really think sometimes doomers just selectively skip or don't process the statements of moderates because if it doesn't fit their narrative EXACTLY then we just HAVE to represent corny positions. I'm really tired of having to constantly prove my doomer cred by restating where I think we're FUBAR.

All I'm implying is that the fast-crash peak-oil Mad Max narrative is probably a long-shot at this point. Not an impossibility, but an improbability. But again, peak-oil is not the only existential threat to humanity. Feeling as though we've maybe bought a couple decades of (relative) normalcy is not cornucopianism. Amory Lovins and Kurzweil represent cornucopianism. I'm not sure anyone here is really that optimistic.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 12:16:37

Subjectivist wrote:
asg70 wrote:
Tanada wrote:In a world where energy is very expensive


Which is a huge hypothetical.

How do we go from our current glut condition to a world where energy is so expensive that manufacturing starts to break down and the world effectively de-industrializes?

I could envision that maybe 10+ years ago but given current trends towards a lithium economy and waves of automation, the day of reckoning seems quite far in the future, far enough that it would be more reasonable to be concerned about looming climate impacts than energy security.


No human civilization is eternal.

So you leap from implied decades to "eternal"?! Sure. As if there's no amount of time in-between. :roll:

Saying that the data on the ground seems to be pointing solidly away from the most likely scenario being a short term crash to decades (or maybe a century or more) away -- via the idea that coming climate impacts are likely to be a big concern first -- is COMPLETELY different than claiming "human civilization is eternal".

Why is it so difficult to have a reasonable conversation about ideas around here without someone going off the rails and making completely false and unsupportable claims about what someone with a differing viewpoint/idea just said?
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby asg70 » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 12:32:30

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Why is it so difficult to have a reasonable conversation about ideas around here without someone going off the rails and making completely false and unsupportable claims about what someone with a differing viewpoint/idea just said?


I know very well why it's so difficult.

Perma-doomers' sense of tribal identity is derived from holding onto a feeling. It's that feeling of collapse being imminent, imminent enough to generate a palpable sense of existential dread. It's hard to carry that sense of dread around with you every moment if the day of reckoning falls outside of the narrow fight-or-flight time-band that we were evolved to utilize to escape danger.

So to say that maybe there will be some cascading crop failures in a couple decades that leads to widespread famine (starting in the 3rd world) with waves of climate refugees just doesn't cut it, because in the short term, gas is cheap, store shelves are fully stocked, and the first world is suffering an epidemic of obesity.

The only way to hold onto doomerism without $147/bbl oil is to construct house-of-cards narratives that would allow everything to come crashing down almost overnight. But to have things move in slow-motion, well, it's just not dramatic enough.

So to a perma-doomer, any narrative that allows for us to sort of cruise or coast through the next decade or two unscathed simply does not cut the mustard. Doomer validation and gratification must be had sooner rather than later.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 17:28:18

asg70 wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:No human civilization is eternal. Your statement implies the current civilization will shrug off peak oil and go along its merry way. You also imply the glut will last for a long time and that lithium mining will solve energy problems despite the still growing world population. That is far less than assured, to put it mildly.


I am NOT implying that civilization will simply "go on its merry way". What part of the end of my statement where I emphasize AGW impacts did you overlook?

I really think sometimes doomers just selectively skip or don't process the statements of moderates because if it doesn't fit their narrative EXACTLY then we just HAVE to represent corny positions. I'm really tired of having to constantly prove my doomer cred by restating where I think we're FUBAR.

All I'm implying is that the fast-crash peak-oil Mad Max narrative is probably a long-shot at this point. Not an impossibility, but an improbability. But again, peak-oil is not the only existential threat to humanity. Feeling as though we've maybe bought a couple decades of (relative) normalcy is not cornucopianism. Amory Lovins and Kurzweil represent cornucopianism. I'm not sure anyone here is really that optimistic.


Pretty simple really, I believe the human imact of global warming is grossly overstated. I believe the effects are real and will be significant, and even disruptve, but not mad max end of the civilization impacts. I believe peak oil on the other and will prevent some very stark choices for people to make and whatever path seems most likely to let them live a high on the hog style of existance is what they will overwhelmingly choose.

I don’t believe intermittent renewables like solar and wind will provide that energy in bulk, ultimately the world shall either go nuclear, or return to coal which is still extremely abundant.
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 18:06:18

Subjectivist wrote: I believe the human imact of global warming is grossly overstated. .
Would you care to share what evidence brings you to this conclusion?
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby Subjectivist » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 21:40:06

vtsnowedin wrote:
Subjectivist wrote: I believe the human imact of global warming is grossly overstated. .
Would you care to share what evidence brings you to this conclusion?


I base it on previous mainstream media predictions that were wildly off the mark when the actual impact of near any event has been much mentioned by media. For example, 1988 drought was going to wipe out farming across the midwest. 1986 Chernobyl would wipe out migratory birds that use the Pripyat river and the exclusion zone would be deadly for a thousand years. Heck recently the Hurricane in Houston was going to cripple the oil industry and take 25% of refineries out of service for months, possibly even a year.

The media sells stories based on whatever the scariest scenario they can thjnk up is, not the most likely scientifically supported projection.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby ralfy » Mon 16 Oct 2017, 21:58:07

As shown in the study featured in this article, four decades of real-data have been tracking forecasts made during the early '70s:

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

The problem involves a combination of a resource crunch (of which peak oil is part), increasing population, and environmental damage. The only thing missing is global warming, which was barely known then. Other problems now seen, ranging from increasing debt to armaments production and deployment to the spread of disease, are difficult to forecast.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 01:53:50

Subjectivist wrote:
vtsnowedin wrote:
Subjectivist wrote: I believe the human imact of global warming is grossly overstated. .
Would you care to share what evidence brings you to this conclusion?


I base it on previous mainstream media predictions that were wildly off the mark when the actual impact of near any event has been much mentioned by media. For example, 1988 drought was going to wipe out farming across the midwest. 1986 Chernobyl would wipe out migratory birds that use the Pripyat river and the exclusion zone would be deadly for a thousand years. Heck recently the Hurricane in Houston was going to cripple the oil industry and take 25% of refineries out of service for months, possibly even a year.

The media sells stories based on whatever the scariest scenario they can thjnk up is, not the most likely scientifically supported projection.

The media is in the business of selling ad space and scientists are in the business of getting a grant and a paper published. Both find exaggeration useful. The real underlying facts of the question remain the same regardless of these reporting errors.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby asg70 » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 01:58:46

The guardian article is correct. The specific details of how this plays out are unknown but a positive future for mankind are slim to none at this point. Note how this is being expressed in recent pop culture.

Blade Runner was pretty doomy to begin with in 1982, but 2017's update suggests that our climate will have been totally destroyed by then and waves of refugees will leave for "offworld" and the only thing conveniently preventing die-off was moving all agriculture into greenhouses. That's a mainstream movie and I'm not seeing a heck of a lot of people suggest its bleak ecological prognosis is implausible, but to people like us, such a future is still on the corny side (as far as keeping modern technology, keeping people fed, and being space-faring). But even if that DOES happen just like that, it sure wouldn't be a pleasant world to inhabit.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 02:18:00

asg70 wrote:The guardian article is correct. The specific details of how this plays out are unknown but a positive future for mankind are slim to none at this point. Note how this is being expressed in recent pop culture.
.

Pop culture is not evidence of future events.
The charts in limits to growth predict a change in direction in several trend lines population , death rate, birth rate. etc. While we are still on the predicted trend lines or close to them none have yet turned so the quality of the LTG predictions is still in doubt.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby GHung » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 09:10:16

VT said; "Pop culture is not evidence of future events."

Evidence of future events? Sort of a silly standard if you think about it.

Not evidence perhaps, but certainly predictive, if not prophetic:
Brave New World? 1984? Neuromancer? Maybe you should read Stand on Zanzibar (John Brunner - 1969):

"Stand on Zanzibar" is set in the year 2010 in the U.S., under the administration of President Obomi. Written in bits and fragments of the characters' lives in real time — public service announcements, obituaries, advertisements—amidst a chaotic and dystopian society: terrorist threats and attacks are an everyday occurrence, and violence in schools is old news. Detroit, in his world, is akin to a ghost town.


And while not 'pop culture', Chomsky pretty much nailed our current situation of fake news and social manipulation decades ago with 'Manufactured Consent'.

Sometimes I wonder if some of you ever read much.
Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit nothing but their Souls. - Anonymous Ghung Person
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 09:26:41

GHung wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if some of you ever read much.

Oh back in the days of old I read brave new world and 1984 as well as A. Toffler's "future shock" and "On the Beach". Lately I've read Guns germs and steel".
People predict all sorts of futures and some of them turn out to be correct but at the time of publication no one could pick out which ones will be the winners.
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Re: Machine over Man

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Tue 17 Oct 2017, 10:22:59

vtsnowedin wrote:
GHung wrote:
Sometimes I wonder if some of you ever read much.

Oh back in the days of old I read brave new world and 1984 as well as A. Toffler's "future shock" and "On the Beach". Lately I've read Guns germs and steel".
People predict all sorts of futures and some of them turn out to be correct but at the time of publication no one could pick out which ones will be the winners.


I was reminded of some classic Dystopian fiction - especially "Terminator" when the Silicon Valley hot video game commercials started playing just in time for Christmas. Now you can get a plastic weapon that looks just like the infamous "phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range" and accepts your smart-phone as a plug-in. You and a group of your good buddies can don vibrator vests and then join a video game via a network connection, and when you look through the video sight you all see virtual targets - Terminator robots, Velociraptors, Zombies, enemy soldiers of all flavors with various weapons - overlaid over your yard or neighborhood, using the smartphone display for one eye. Then you fight a battle, and everybody sees every shot, and if you are hit by enemy fire, you feel it through the vest and if you are killed vs. wounded, your world goes black.

Beats the He!! out of a LaserTag emporium or a paintball field, doesn't make a mess, and hopefully not two many teenagers will run into traffic chasing virtual monsters.
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We had toy guns when I was a kid, and the TV was full of "Combat" and "Rat Patrol" and similar shows. But we had to use our imaginations, you could fire a paper cap and it would make a "snap" noise and smoke would curl up. But caps cost money and you could also just make a gunfire noise and simply tell somebody they were dead. Today, you take the starter set above, add optional vests and helmets, and you can then see virtual 3D and experience stereo sound, and it's a darned good simulation.

We fought WW2 every Saturday afternoon, to the amusement of our parents. I'm sure the reactions would be different in the 21st Century - but then, what are all the new combat games about, and why are they buying them for their kids?
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