Donate Bitcoin

Donate Paypal


PeakOil is You

PeakOil is You

Superfluous people

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

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby onlooker » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 20:45:30

No doubt Overpopulation is a detrimental factor to enabling all to attain a minimally acceptable quality of life. But our species is encumbered by other flaws in a cultural social structures that worsen the prospects of life for many. Take for instance one prominment one; Women's rights or lack thereof. So, I personally am very dismayed by the trajectory of our evolution and its slow march to improve collectively. And of course even worse, we are setting the stage for epic environmental catastrophes. If we as a species were a patient in a hospital, I think Doctors would evaulate our prognosis as terminally ill. But still, despite being constantly called a Doomer on this site, I never lose hope. I just try and focus on justifiable reasons for hope.
"We are mortal beings doomed to die
User avatar
onlooker
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 10510
Joined: Sun 10 Nov 2013, 12:49:04
Location: NY, USA

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby ralfy » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 20:59:20

Not just a social obligation but the source of wealth, as consumers are in essence the same employees.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
User avatar
ralfy
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 4974
Joined: Sat 28 Mar 2009, 10:36:38
Location: The Wasteland

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby mmasters » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 21:11:43

Darian S wrote:Being forced to do a meaningless task to survive, is degrading and insulting. A basic universal income, is no different than a rightfully deserved inheritance. That society tolerates unregulated birth giving rise to individuals with no significant inheritance, no adequate health, no adequate education, no adequate housing or food, etc. is a tragedy that it unethically allows.

All welfare typically does is create parasites. Not everyone is created equal. Some of us are more evolved and desire to make something of ourselves.

Once humanity has full automation there is no need for the rest of the population to perform any physical or mental task to survive. All that is needed is regulation of reproduction to reduce the population and increase the true wealth of all.

Full automation for everybody is a pipe dream. There will always be a need for people to repair computers and robots. We're not here to find some kind of utopia for everyone, our purpose is individual and in my belief it goes beyond the physical world.

Good luck finding a way to keep the low level people from reproducing.
User avatar
mmasters
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun 16 Apr 2006, 02:00:00
Location: Mid-Atlantic

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Darian S » Sat 17 Feb 2018, 23:02:02

All welfare typically does is create parasites. Not everyone is created equal. Some of us are more evolved and desire to make something of ourselves.

The vast majority is dependent on the machinery that powers the farms, the fertilizers and the transportation of tools and food.

Make something of oneself in society, is merely to acquire some job or title that has high social standing and receives high income. The social system is nothing more than a game. And what it asks often is patience and effort for insufficient reward.

Throughout all of history we've not been able to eliminate the disease of aging or grant the ability for true self-sufficiency independent of society or effort.

Now technology has reached a point where we may be able to grant true self sufficiency and eliminate aging, but insufficient funds are allocated towards such research.

Basically the only ones truly seeking to make something truly worthy, are the transhumans, and they require massive technological advances to make their dreams a reality.

The rest are merely playing who wants to be top ape in the social game. Acquire a few luxuries, a high number in the bank account, high social standing, while their bodies wither away and they inevitably lose it all.
Full automation for everybody is a pipe dream. There will always be a need for people to repair computers and robots. We're not here to find some kind of utopia for everyone, our purpose is individual and in my belief it goes beyond the physical world.

Synthetic biology is the key to generating machines that self-repair and do not suffer from aging. We can combine the traits of all the domains of life, and traits never before seen.

You can imagine that a synthetic humanoid born with the instinct to serve and obey, fond of repetitive tedious tasks, but with intellect equal or superior to a human will make human labor obsolete.

Good luck finding a way to keep the low level people from reproducing.

They say fertility rates may soon be affected at large, as male sperm counts are dropping in numbers and quality on a global scale decade after decade. Perhaps it is coincidence, or perhaps the elite are slowly implementing their desire for reducing the population.

If you need to go through multiple expensive fertility assistance trials to conceive, you effectively regulate reproduction by putting a high price on the act of reproduction.
Darian S
Peat
Peat
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 29 Feb 2016, 15:47:02

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 08:41:57

ralfy wrote:Not just a social obligation but the source of wealth, as consumers are in essence the same employees.


Excellent observation. But I gotta think the subtleties will be lost here.

It’s a positive feedback system that will eventually fail. That will be “interesting.”
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13044
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 08:53:38

Tanada,

I just wanted to clarify that when I mentioned “trickle down” it was not meant to be a disparaging comment. It’s what happens in any merchatile system.

The concept that everything should or could be left to trickle down is something different.

I think we could kill a few pleasant evenings discussing the details.

I’ve come to the queer idea that prisoners are an integral part of our economic system because they are “pure” consumers. They create a number of jobs and economic activity without producing anything. In our culture, highly efficient, when someone produces there is then the problem of finding someone to consume that production. Production without consumption kills growth. Prisioners are a pure sink.

So are they to be admired for their role in our society? Are they not the ultimate benificiary of trickle down? Do they not receive some form of BMI?

Lots and lots of contradictions in our system.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13044
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 11:23:33

Newfie wrote:Tanada,

I just wanted to clarify that when I mentioned “trickle down” it was not meant to be a disparaging comment. It’s what happens in any mercantile system.

The concept that everything should or could be left to trickle down is something different.

I think we could kill a few pleasant evenings discussing the details.

I’ve come to the queer idea that prisoners are an integral part of our economic system because they are “pure” consumers. They create a number of jobs and economic activity without producing anything. In our culture, highly efficient, when someone produces there is then the problem of finding someone to consume that production. Production without consumption kills growth. Prisoners are a pure sink.

So are they to be admired for their role in our society? Are they not the ultimate beneficiary of trickle down? Do they not receive some form of BMI?

Lots and lots of contradictions in our system.


Interesting example, just the other day I was thinking BMI is a trap, imprisoning the poor. What I mean is, I have a person I consider a dear friend who lives in Northern England. We met online over two decades ago and have collaborated in a number of writing projects especially in that first decade way back when we were each developing our personal style. He was in his mid 20's when we met and was born and raised in his community where work situations were very strange to my Americanized viewpoint. Employers in his community were (I don't know if they still are) subsidized by the government to hire unemployed people and keep them on staff for 6-12 months so they could learn the ropes and prove whether they were a valuable employee or not. The problem that developed was, because of the subsidy a business would hire him, he would prove himself, but at the end of the subsidized period he would be laid off and another unemployed person would be hired so that the business could continue to draw subsidy payments from the government which made staffing cheaper. To continue receiving the Dole in between these cyclic jobs the unemployed were required to take job training courses to qualify for other positions and he gladly did so every time a subsidized job ended, until he had been through the entire list of training courses. Ultimately by the time he was 32ish he had run through the whole UK version of the BMI, he had proven himself to be a hard worker time and time again and yet at the end he was discarded by the system in favor of younger unemployed folks just entering the work force. He did eventually find a permanent position, but there were some very lean years and a great deal of frustration caused by the system intended to help the young and unemployed.

My fear is the BMI will end up being the same kind of trap for the USA. If the BMI is instituted I predict the first thing that will happen is rent prices will go up because landlords will want to cash in on this new supply of money poor people are gaining access to. Prices of many other 'consumable' items will do the exact same thing because Mr. three piece suit will want to tap into that new revenue stream ASAP. Such is human nature. The end result will be the destitute poor will gain a little bit because their net situation will be a little better, but the working poor will end up being badly hurt.

On the one hand the way the system works now if you are working poor today it is because you take pride in earning a place in society and are not willing to game the system. Anyone willing to game the system can shack up with someone who also want to game the system and time things to have a new baby every three years or so while working under the table jobs to get spendable cash. The working poor on the other hand actually live worse than those 'poor' who game the system because their inherent value system prevents them from playing the game. So say BMI comes along and both groups, the gamers and the hard workers get BMI because like the name says it is Universal. The Landlords both groups rent from bump up the rent to tap into this new income. The local grocery store that is small but within walking distance bumps up the prices of everything. Ultimately the gamers neither gain or lose anything because they were already gaming the system instead of participating in society as productive members. On the other hand the working poor, and the lower middle class, see the prices of everything go up to match the new BMI income because the businesses who find the fastest way to tap in get the biggest boost to the bottom line. Can you imagine anything more depressing than being one of those who does the best you can in your circumstances just to have it A) made less significant by BMI and B) simultaneously gain no advantage from BMI?

A lot of the younger folks around today do not realize that up until the 1980's from 1933 on there were wage and price controls in the USA. The Federal Government set the price for natural gas, they set the prices for a lot of other things as well, they heavily regulated a very large portion of the American Economy to the point of strictly controlling air routes for commercial traffic, setting rates and wages for railroads, heavily influencing rates and wages for the trucking industry and on and on. In that environment a BMI can have a limited positive influence because the benefit is limited to the consumers consuming more instead of the consumers buying the same products and services at an elevated price. However deregulation was the theme of the 1980's and while there is still a lot about half of the 'regulatory burden' was removed and you would play with fire trying to re-institute it today.

My favorite regulatory story is about Medicare/Medicaid. In the history of hospitals from early days until 1965 in the USA the wealthiest patients had private rooms and everyone else was in 'the ward' where 10-50 patient beds were in one large room just like you see in the episodes of MASH (the TV show). In the Ward situation patients were all visible to each other and also to the duty nurse who had a desk at the end of the ward where they did paperwork in between checking on the patients and administering course of treatment. There was little or no reason for a 'nurse call system' because the patients could wave or yell or what not to get the nurses attention and if the person in the bed next to you started fading you had incentive to notice and holler for help for your neighbor. When the USA instituted medicare/medicaid to "help" the elderly and poor one of the very first things they did was demand patients be in a maximum 4 occupant room. Nearly every existing hospital required massive remodeling or closure to meet this standard and qualify for federally subsidized patient care. Even worse for a Nurse to have the same 10-50 patients under their care they were no longer in the same room as the patients and a 'call system' had to be instituted costing another large sum of cash. It also meant that patients were no longer constantly visible to the nursing staff, they could not hear if a particular patient started gasping or see if they started twitching or otherwise exhibiting signs of distress. They also instituted 'privacy curtains between patient beds so that if anyone wanted to avoid seeing the others they could do so. In addition to the huge financial cost of making every existing hospital obsolete the cost in patient mortality rates was huge. Patients being screened off in small rooms were not monitored with anything like the frequency they were given in a ward hospital. Worse if you could not reach the call button or were in distress and unable to use it while screened off your neighbors in the 4 bed room might not even notice, and if you were quite about it they might not care. IOW this massive change to the medical system to 'help' the 'poor and elderly' instead made things a great deal worse for most of those it was intended to help.

I fear BMI would be exactly the same thing. Back in the 1930's Will Rogers was famous for saying in one of his many comedy routines that the scariest words you would ever hear are "I am from the Government, I am here to help you"
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
User avatar
Tanada
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15507
Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 02:00:00
Location: South West shore Lake Erie, OH, USA

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 11:57:24

The issue of more Govt. vs. less Govt is a very thorny one in the context of so many people alive today. It is simply logistically difficult to have very large groups agree on anything much less uniformerly execute anything. In my younger days, I was left leaning you could say Socialist. However, at present I have come to realize that Governments are very vulnerable to corruption and can be very inefficient also. On the other hand businesses are so keen on the bottom line that they are poor entities to safeguard the public good. So I see my political philsophy as Anarchist meaning NO Government , pure rule of people by people and for people.

Practically, speaking I do not think we alive will ever see anything close to that. So in lieu of that, I would say the best we can do is something akin to what the US had right after WWII with the New Deal. A Govt seeking to regulate companies and corporations while attempting to improve the lot of the masses. A rather precarious situation enabling Govt to grow too large and onerous. But instead the pecuniary forces have won out and corrupted Govt for the benefit of Big Business. As Eisenhower said beware the Military/Industrial complex.
"We are mortal beings doomed to die
User avatar
onlooker
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 10510
Joined: Sun 10 Nov 2013, 12:49:04
Location: NY, USA

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 18:36:12

The vantage point of the observer informs the discussion. Let’s talk about oxen instead.

You have a farm, a pretty big one, and you need several teams of oxen to work the fields. And because ox need to eat, they reduce your marketable share.

Now you buy a big tractor. It is much more efficient and reliable. It doesn’t need to eat so you can sell more product.

What do you do with the ox?

And why the answer is different when talking about humans informs us as to why this is such a thorny issue.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13044
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Ibon » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 18:48:28

Newfie wrote:What do you do with the ox?



Teach them to use the internet.
Our resiliency resembles an invasive weed. We are the Kudzu Ape
blog: http://blog.mounttotumas.com/
website: http://www.mounttotumas.com
User avatar
Ibon
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 7457
Joined: Fri 03 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Volcan, Panama

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 19:55:57

Smart Ass. Good to hear you are alive and kicking. :-D
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13044
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby onlooker » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 20:23:09

Yes Ibon, good to hear from you again. Newf, I think you would then agree that if we were creatures akin to computers without emotions, we would logically and coldly determine that we must reduce population by X numbers of people and then proceed to do so. So yes our human/emotional nature is a bit of an impediment.
"We are mortal beings doomed to die
User avatar
onlooker
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 10510
Joined: Sun 10 Nov 2013, 12:49:04
Location: NY, USA

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 21:22:46

Newfie wrote:The vantage point of the observer informs the discussion. Let’s talk about oxen instead.

You have a farm, a pretty big one, and you need several teams of oxen to work the fields. And because ox need to eat, they reduce your marketable share.

Now you buy a big tractor. It is much more efficient and reliable. It doesn’t need to eat so you can sell more product.

What do you do with the ox?

And why the answer is different when talking about humans informs us as to why this is such a thorny issue.


You left out a couple key factors. The Oxen got at least half if nor most of their caloric intake grazing on pasture that was seat aside for that purpose which yes took that land out of crop rotation, but also used that land to conserve and build the soil for its multi-year use as pasture land. It is also true on many farms the designated pasture was land that wasn't much good for annual crops but which was capable of supporting perennial grasses and prairie plants like alfalfa and timothy. The other factor you skipped over is manure. The oxen provided a lot of it in the barn in the stall where the kids or farm hands could gather it up for spreading on the fields as fertilizer to supplement the crop yields.

Tractors for all their pluses have not learned to either reproduce themselves or to fertilize the fields. On the other hand they don't consume calories in the off season where the Oxen still need to be tended and fed. Then again a pair of trained oxen was a lot less expensive than a tractor and didn't normally put the farmer into a multi year debt load.

Like everything there are trade off and both pros and cons. Treating people like Oxen doesn't work to well because you can herd an ox right into the slaughter house with little resistance where people once they figure it out fight back. Sure millions were marched into gas chambers in WW II, but they didn't believe a civilized nation like Germany would engage in mass slaughter. And never forget for every thousand or so tricked into their death march there were one or two who refused and turned Partisan fighting back as best they were able as long as they could. Oxen don't do that from everything I have seen.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
User avatar
Tanada
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15507
Joined: Thu 28 Apr 2005, 02:00:00
Location: South West shore Lake Erie, OH, USA

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby ralfy » Sun 18 Feb 2018, 22:58:09

mmasters wrote:All welfare typically does is create parasites. Not everyone is created equal. Some of us are more evolved and desire to make something of ourselves.


Reminds me of this meme:

Image

Full automation for everybody is a pipe dream. There will always be a need for people to repair computers and robots. We're not here to find some kind of utopia for everyone, our purpose is individual and in my belief it goes beyond the physical world.


Not just to repair them, as computers and robots aren't consumers.

Good luck finding a way to keep the low level people from reproducing.


Actually, the goal of a global capitalist system is the opposite.
http://sites.google.com/site/peakoilreports/
User avatar
ralfy
Light Sweet Crude
Light Sweet Crude
 
Posts: 4974
Joined: Sat 28 Mar 2009, 10:36:38
Location: The Wasteland

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Darian S » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 00:50:09

Regards rising prices universal basic income should be pegged to inflation. Also housing and transportation as well as healthcare and education should be provided.

With the internet there is global competition and the basic income could differ based on cost of living. Ultimately nationalized companies with ĺower prices could be introduced as competitors.

As for consumers word is digital economy is growing and bots can easily buy digital goods off of each other. The physical economy does have the plus side of economies of scale lowering costs. But eventually if the elite get wealthy enough they can afford the loss of economies of scale.
Darian S
Peat
Peat
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 29 Feb 2016, 15:47:02

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 07:55:08

Yes Tanada there are problems with the analogy in the details. But the point was more to illustrate on a high level the uniqueness of our dilemma.

We could treat people more like oxen, eschew automation, return to farming by Mennonite measures. There is much to be said for that, it would provide folks with a more meaningful existence and be much softer on the Earth going a long way to sustainability.

In the other hand it would almost certainly reduce the American/Webster annual yield of calories by a significant fraction, reducing calories available for folks in less fortunate countries. That would at least lead to the widespread fammin if not the large scale destabilization of Europe and Africa.

We find ourselves flying ina box canyon.
User avatar
Newfie
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 13044
Joined: Thu 15 Nov 2007, 03:00:00
Location: Between Canada and Carribean

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby mmasters » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 14:42:30

Darian S wrote:Regards rising prices universal basic income should be pegged to inflation. Also housing and transportation as well as healthcare and education should be provided.

Money doesn't grow on trees. A yearly UBI of $10,000 for everyone in the US is around 4 trillion a year. The government only takes in about that much a year in taxes. There wouldn't be any left for Social Security, Medicare, Infrastructure, Education, Housing, and on and on. So you say, tax the rich more, well do that and they will leave the country and go somewhere else. Socialism may sound good in theory but it lacks common sense in economics. If you want to bankrupt the country and ruin your opportunities then vote for a guy like Bernie Sanders.
User avatar
mmasters
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun 16 Apr 2006, 02:00:00
Location: Mid-Atlantic

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby GHung » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 14:57:36

mmasters wrote:.......Money doesn't grow on trees......


In a sense, it does. Especially when it comes to conjuring money into existence to bail out banks, provide free loans to corporations, pay off the MIC, and to conduct wars-not-of-necessity. Just sayin'.... Our current president (self-proclaimed King of debt) just signed a conjuring of a couple of trillion more dollars.
Blessed are the Meek, for they shall inherit nothing but their Souls. - Anonymous Ghung Person
User avatar
GHung
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2937
Joined: Tue 08 Sep 2009, 15:06:11
Location: Moksha, Nearvana

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby Darian S » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 15:12:33

mmasters wrote:
Darian S wrote:Regards rising prices universal basic income should be pegged to inflation. Also housing and transportation as well as healthcare and education should be provided.

Money doesn't grow on trees. A yearly UBI of $10,000 for everyone in the US is around 4 trillion a year. The government only takes in about that much a year in taxes. There wouldn't be any left for Social Security, Medicare, Infrastructure, Education, Housing, and on and on. So you say, tax the rich more, well do that and they will leave the country and go somewhere else. Socialism may sound good in theory but it lacks common sense in economics. If you want to bankrupt the country and ruin your opportunities then vote for a guy like Bernie Sanders.

Well a large chunk of the population is effectively earning at least as much if not more, in many cases for doing busywork. If they become unemployed due to automation, the money doesn't vanish into thin air. It simply gets funneled to the account of the owner of the machine that replaced say the $100,000+ salary worker.

If we get 80% unemployment, it's not like the money that would have gone towards their salaries vanished along with their jobs.

As for the rich they can leave, but we can nationalize all their land and resources within the nation if they do so.
Darian S
Peat
Peat
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Mon 29 Feb 2016, 15:47:02

Re: Superfluous people

Unread postby mmasters » Mon 19 Feb 2018, 15:37:40

GHung wrote:
mmasters wrote:.......Money doesn't grow on trees......


In a sense, it does. Especially when it comes to conjuring money into existence to bail out banks, provide free loans to corporations, pay off the MIC, and to conduct wars-not-of-necessity. Just sayin'.... Our current president (self-proclaimed King of debt) just signed a conjuring of a couple of trillion more dollars.

You can only do that so much though. Eventually the debt and inflation get out of control. Obama ran up the government credit card spending like a drunken sailor and that's partially what's got us into this mess.
User avatar
mmasters
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 2148
Joined: Sun 16 Apr 2006, 02:00:00
Location: Mid-Atlantic

PreviousNext

Return to Peak Oil Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests