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Anti-Capitalist Sentiment (with some morality)

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  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Oil companies are deliberately using their wealth and might to stop humans from advancing into a post-oil economy. There's no reason for us to be so heavily dependant on oil, other than to keep oil companies in business.
    Not nearly as much as you think. The impact oil companies have had on reduction in renewables is on the margin of the margins. I'll explain more later.

    Why?

    Then why are we still reliant on fossil fuels?
    Because the technology required for these to replace oil is substantially higher than people think. Even after we've made enormous advancements, like exponential advancements, the tech is still nowhere close to what it needs to be to provide what oil does. The oil companies are not the reason the tech doesn't exist. Masses of funds and man hours have gone into renewables, so much so that it's hugely subsidized now, yet it's still nowhere close to doing what oil can

    Land isn't yours. You merely own the rights to land. Just like copyright, or a webpage. It all goes back in the box, remember? They can take away your land if you fail to pay your debt, and the debt is enforced on you when you take on a mortgage. Where does the money come to provide your motgage? Your deposit (your time and work), plus the money they already created through previous debt. The fact is, the baks don't even have to put anything up as deposit themselves, yet they still have the power to repossess your land if you fail to pay your dues.
    I have no idea what your point is. This isn't a critique of capitalism


    It straight up does. Take truffles as a basic example. I read somewhere here recently that truffle can be mass produced and be sold at a fraction of the cost. But why would they want to do that when they can sell it for more if it's rarer? The very fact that we use oil instead of solar power demonstrates the important role that scarcity has on capitalism. If we used solar energy, then energy would be abundant, not scarce. But if energy was more or less free, then large oil companies can't make money.
    If we used solar, the world economy would collapse. Eventually the tech will be strong enough and scalable, but even then, it would only replace oil in certain areas since it's not liquid, cant make plastics, etc

    Scarcity form the basis of capitalism. Something that is scarce is worth more than soemthing that is abundant. Thus, maintaining scarcity increases long term revenue. And capitalism is all about profit, so capitalism encourages scarcity over abundance because it's more profitable.
    Scarcity is a facet of capitalism, but not the foundation. If you were right, we'd be living a much different world. The world we are living in doesn't look like one where scarcity reigns supreme. Only in outliers are extremes of scarcity ever successful

    Diamonds are a great example, actually. What would happen if somebody created a method of creating perfect artificial diamonds? Their value would plummet. Thus, they won't be in any hurry to release such technology. That's two of my points supported in one.
    There basically already are. Also there's a ton of regular diamonds anyways. The cost is already really low, but the price is not due to artificial scarcity. We don't see this in commodities that people need, and the extremes of this only exist in a handful of situations. Diamonds is the outlier. Even Apple is an outlier, but it's still nowhere near diamonds. Only niche and boutique markets where people are willing to overpay for something they don't actually need, can companies gouge prices and get away with it

    Things like oil, OTOH, are as cheap as possible. The incentives to make them even cheaper is off the charts for virtually every player. Scarcity is no more the foundation of capitalism as abundance. Keep in mind that the theory of supply and demand already accounts for and explains all this

    Of course it's every man for himself. Let's give you a hypothetical moral dilemma -

    You are a self employed used car salesman. A new rival business opens half a mile from your business, and your profits plummet. You then discover that the person who runs the business has served time in prison for attempted murder. He's served his time and is trying to turn his life around, but you could ruin him and restore your profits by smearing him in public. Do you go to the press with this information? How many people do you suppose would compared to those who won't? Ultimately most people will put themself and their familes first. That's every man for himself. No-one gives a flying fuck about Bob and his family, except for Bob and his family.
    This isn't a product of capitalism. It happens everywhere there has been anything not capitalism. You're making a bunch of causal leaps


    This is fundamentally false. The vast majority of crime is committed as a result of money, or more the desire for money. That's a direct result of the economic system imposed on us. If everyone had equal wealth, then what reason is there for crime? People will still fight over love, or steal things they want, but the vast majority of crime would be negated.
    I don't really know how to address this. Crime is a huge thing in places without money and times before money. Reduction in crime also correlates well with increases in free enterprise. You live in one off the lowest crime areas in the history of the world, as do I

    If only abundant resources were used, then products and services would be cheaper. And if that's the case, then corporations make less money. Scarcity underlines capitalism at its most basic level. Human greed and corruption is the consuqeuence.
    Businesses don't all operate the way you think. Some can probably be said to kinda sorta do what you think, but nothing close to most. Go read posts by Yglesias about Amazon. That's an example of the opposite of what you think companies do

    In a nutshell: both abundance and scarcity play roles in capitalism, and too much in one direction tends to increase the value of the other
  2. #152
    The idea that scarcity is the optimal model for companies depends on absolute monopolies

    So far, it seems that this isn't even possible except in areas where necessity is virtually zero, like wedding diamonds. Industrial diamonds don't have this sort of price gouging because there is necessity for their use. Whenever there is a need, it usually becomes profitable to come in and undercut somebody who's gouging prices. This doesn't happen in wedding diamonds because there is virtually no incentive for people to complain about how expensive they are. People LIKE how expensive they are, that's the main allure. Again, if De Beers' diamonds were used for fueling transportation, the price gouging would not work
  3. #153
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    If we used solar, the world economy would collapse.
    Well this is where you demonstrate that we're totally at odds in how we see things. There's enough solar power reaching earth in an hour to supply ALL our energy needs for a year, so they say. Of course, we can't collect all the solar power, but all we need is to harness 0.01% to meet those needs. And of course that's just solar power. There's wind, tidal, wave and hydroelectrical too. But all these are dwarfed by geothermal energy, which can easily cover our needs alone. I just said solar because it was the first renewable that came to mind.

    They won't do it. They don't want us to be all wealthy, because then they lose their grip on power.

    The world we are living in doesn't look like one where scarcity reigns supreme.
    Our use of fossil fuels over renewables suggests otherwise.

    You got 40 minutes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnkCww2ZeVs

    I'm no expert. This guy is. Jaque Fresco, this guy is fast becoming my hero.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  4. #154
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Well this is where you demonstrate that we're totally at odds in how we see things. There's enough solar power reaching earth in an hour to supply ALL our energy needs for a year, so they say. Of course, we can't collect all the solar power, but all we need is to harness 0.01% to meet those needs. And of course that's just solar power. There's wind, tidal, wave and hydroelectrical too. But all these are dwarfed by geothermal energy, which can easily cover our needs alone. I just said solar because it was the first renewable that came to mind.

    They won't do it. They don't want us to be all wealthy, because then they lose their grip on power.



    Our use of fossil fuels over renewables suggests otherwise.

    You got 40 minutes?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnkCww2ZeVs

    I'm no expert. This guy is. Jaque Fresco, this guy is fast becoming my hero.
    I'll give that a go later

    Costs, scalability, and utility of renewables are not what you think. The tech is currently not to a point where we can power homes with solar instead of coal. With current tech, if we did that, energy bills would be pretty huge, and it would undermine the process of supply and demand in a similar way that the Soviet Union did.

    Eventually, most energy will be solar, but it can't now. It's just too expensive. Most of what you hear about how cheap it is, is actually quite misleading. While advancements are moving swiftly, those who tout cheapness are not accounting for things like huge subsidies or economic scale. Engineers in the field do not have the same sort of Utopian views that marketers do
  5. #155
    However, check out Tesla. A change is a comin

    The markets truly do have this issue covered
  6. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    However, check out Tesla. A change is a comin

    The markets truly do have this issue covered
    Battery based transport has been set back by decades because of battery patent hording by Big Oil and Big Auto.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_...NiMH_batteries

    I mean, I disagree with most of what Ong is saying, but, wufwugy, your buffering of your posts with free market cheer leading isn't a good look.
  7. #157
    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    Battery based transport has been set back by decades because of battery patent hording by Big Oil and Big Auto.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_...NiMH_batteries

    I mean, I disagree with most of what Ong is saying, but, wufwugy, your buffering of your posts with free market cheer leading isn't a good look.
    I don't doubt that some oil and/or car companies have tried to set back progress, as that always happens. It's like even with a perfect poker game, you still lose hands. In a perfect economy, some people still try to fuck shit up. But the effect of those is still marginal

    Patent encumbrance is a problem, not just in this industry, but in many. It isn't responsible for killing innovation though. Overall, the link is conjecture by a handful of people. Chevron isn't squelching battery tech. If they had a viable, scalable tech, they'd use it. All these companies are already trying to do so, and if there was a battery tech out there that could provide yet was blocked by patent, we'd absolutely hear about it almost every day. The amount of lawsuits against Chevron or whoever would be astronomical, and engineers in the field would be crying bloody murder. But they're not

    A documentary or two doesn't make the case. Even if the patents were stifling innovation (which many do), they only stifle for a relatively brief period of time. Patents are a balancing issue, and through the cracks some fall for a period of time. But in the long run, they don't stifle

    Man if Elon Musk came out and said "yeah without these certain kinds of batteries protected by patent, we can't make solar powered cars to scale", there would be hell to pay. Fucking hell to pay. The populace still makes the rules, and an integral reason to why we do is free markets

    We currently live in a world of skyrocketing tech and living standards. I find it specious to blame the holes in the system for making the system itself shit
  8. #158
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    Things like oil, OTOH, are as cheap as possible. The incentives to make them even cheaper is off the charts for virtually every player. Scarcity is no more the foundation of capitalism as abundance. Keep in mind that the theory of supply and demand already accounts for and explains all this
    How can you be lauding free market capitalism when talking about oil, one of the most heavily regulated commodities there are? OPEC has so much influence on international oil prices and frequently exploits this for their advantage. Oil is not a free market at all.
  9. #159
    Best Buy will lose to Amazon, because Best Buy at best will be a big box retail store chain, with a online presence. The online division has to clear everything through the established big box retail store chain hierarchy. Further, they would be directly competing with themselves-- which may seem like a no-brainer and not a problem, but what do all those people in the big box retail store chain hierarchy think about no longer being relevant?

    You could be right about Chevron, or Chevron could just be self aware enough to know they are better off delaying the shift, rather than trying to usher it in while competing against themselves.
  10. #160
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    But the effect of those is still marginal
    Marginal? Are you kidding me? We were close to free energy when Tesla was alive, yet here were are, a century later, and still we're burning the black stuff to make the wheels go round.

    I can give you a more direct example of how capitalism is stifling innovation and technology.

    What am I doing with my life? I spend most of my time at home, on the computer playing poker, chess, watching shit on youtube, I see my friends, socialise, play cards, go see bands etc. I don't work, but those jobs I have had, none of them have been what could be called innovative or particularly challenging.

    I'm considerably smarter than average, if IQ is to be considered a reliable measurement. Average is around 100, I'm somewhere between 120-130 as far as I'm aware. My chess rating on gameknot is 93rd percentile, that is I'm top 7% of the site. I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet here, quite the opposite in fact. I am actively wasting my intellect. Why is this? Because the system is not suited to me. I don't have money, so I can't go to university. How do I survive if I do? How do I pay the rent? Where's my food coming from? In order to get my benefits, I have to be "actively seeking work", so if I'm a full time student, I lose my right to benefits. Those who do go to uni tend to take on huge amounts of debt. It's the system that is causing me to waste my brain. If education was free, if the system prioritised innovation over profit, then I would have gone to uni and studied physics, chemistry, something like that. But here I am, aged 34, living in a bubble, doing nothing productive. Capitalism has stifled my progress, that is for certain. I can't afford to improve my life.

    What could I have achieved if I had free education? I would most certainly be more of an asset to my society than I currently am. How many more people like me are wasting their lives? Most of my friends are in dead end jobs. Most of my friends are also smarter than average.

    Our priorities are all fucked up. Making money is more important to our society than moving forward is. I could have done much more with my life, but I've been held back by a system that has only one priority - profit. I won't get a free education because whoever pays for it won't make any money. That's capitalism stifling innovation right fucking there.

    There has to be another way. How many billions of people are living in poverty? Do they really need to live in poverty? This Fresco guy I talk about, he doesn't seem to think so. People live in poverty because capitalism distributes resources unfairly. You don't live in poverty because you're fortunate enough to live in USA, a nation that consumes far more than it exports. Those in poverty live in nations that export more than they consume. How much do Indian kids get paid to sew footballs and stitch shirts? How much does a Manchester United shirt cost to make? How much does it sell for?

    We think this system is great because it works for us. Two important words there - for us. It doesn't work for the majority of people in the world.

    But hey, only our western nations matter, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    However, check out Tesla. A change is a comin

    The markets truly do have this issue covered
    lol
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  12. #162
    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer View Post
    How can you be lauding free market capitalism when talking about oil, one of the most heavily regulated commodities there are? OPEC has so much influence on international oil prices and frequently exploits this for their advantage. Oil is not a free market at all.
    Saying OPEC controls the market is a little misleading. It controls it so much as it's beholden to consumers and governments. Oil isn't a completely free market, and may just be a marginally free one, globally, but the industry is expanding at costs as much as possible, and it isn't able to gouge that much

    Let's say OPEC does control the market and they're charging whatever they want. What would the US government do? In a way, the US government tells whoever they want whatever the hell they want, and this government is beholden to US interests first and foremost. If, for example, the US could slap OPEC up the side of the head and get $1 gallon gas, it would. This would be one of the biggest political wins of all time. If the US could do it, it would, but it doesn't because market is running about as close to capacity as is currently feasible

    If OPEC is an oligopoly, why aren't prices higher? Why have prices dropped with the reduction in Euro demand due to NGDP growth reductions in the region? If OPEC was an oligopoly, wouldn't it just say "whatever" to supply and demand and raise prices to pretty much whatever it could get away with?

    Keep in mind that OPEC isn't an isolated entity. It's made up of varying interests in varying countries. It can't do whatever it wants
  13. #163
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Oh and that link I left you wasn't what I intended, that's more of a sociology lecture. Just youtube > Jaques Fresco Venus Project and listen to him.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  14. #164
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    If OPEC was an oligopoly, wouldn't it just say "whatever" to supply and demand and raise prices to pretty much whatever it could get away with?
    That's precisely what it's doing.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  15. #165
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    If OPEC is an oligopoly
    Funny you mention that word.

    Oligopolistic competition can give rise to a wide range of different outcomes. In some situations, the firms may employ restrictive trade practices (collusion, market sharing etc.) to raise prices and restrict production in much the same way as a monopoly. Where there is a formal agreement for such collusion, this is known as a cartel. A primary example of such a cartel is OPEC which has a profound influence on the international price of oil.


    Cartels usually occur in anoligopolistic industry, where the number of sellers is small (usually because barriers to entry, most notably startup costs, are high) and the products being traded are usually homogeneous.


    I also never said that they completely control the market, only that they have significant influence. Regardless, oil is a barely free market.
  16. #166
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Marginal? Are you kidding me? We were close to free energy when Tesla was alive, yet here were are, a century later, and still we're burning the black stuff to make the wheels go round.
    It's a myth. Thousands of scientists and engineers are currently doing stuff at a tech level Tesla didn't know, and they don't say what you say.

    I can give you a more direct example of how capitalism is stifling innovation and technology.

    What am I doing with my life? I spend most of my time at home, on the computer playing poker, chess, watching shit on youtube, I see my friends, socialise, play cards, go see bands etc. I don't work, but those jobs I have had, none of them have been what could be called innovative or particularly challenging.

    I'm considerably smarter than average, if IQ is to be considered a reliable measurement. Average is around 100, I'm somewhere between 120-130 as far as I'm aware. My chess rating on gameknot is 93rd percentile, that is I'm top 7% of the site. I'm not trying to blow my own trumpet here, quite the opposite in fact. I am actively wasting my intellect. Why is this? Because the system is not suited to me. I don't have money, so I can't go to university. How do I survive if I do? How do I pay the rent? Where's my food coming from? In order to get my benefits, I have to be "actively seeking work", so if I'm a full time student, I lose my right to benefits. Those who do go to uni tend to take on huge amounts of debt. It's the system that is causing me to waste my brain. If education was free, if the system prioritised innovation over profit, then I would have gone to uni and studied physics, chemistry, something like that. But here I am, aged 34, living in a bubble, doing nothing productive. Capitalism has stifled my progress, that is for certain. I can't afford to improve my life.

    What could I have achieved if I had free education? I would most certainly be more of an asset to my society than I currently am. How many more people like me are wasting their lives? Most of my friends are in dead end jobs. Most of my friends are also smarter than average.

    Our priorities are all fucked up. Making money is more important to our society than moving forward is. I could have done much more with my life, but I've been held back by a system that has only one priority - profit. I won't get a free education because whoever pays for it won't make any money. That's capitalism stifling innovation right fucking there.

    There has to be another way. How many billions of people are living in poverty? Do they really need to live in poverty? This Fresco guy I talk about, he doesn't seem to think so. People live in poverty because capitalism distributes resources unfairly. You don't live in poverty because you're fortunate enough to live in USA, a nation that consumes far more than it exports. Those in poverty live in nations that export more than they consume. How much do Indian kids get paid to sew footballs and stitch shirts? How much does a Manchester United shirt cost to make? How much does it sell for?

    We think this system is great because it works for us. Two important words there - for us. It doesn't work for the majority of people in the world.

    But hey, only our western nations matter, right?
    Our current system isn't perfect and it's a shame. However, the blame isn't capitalism. What would you be doing under another system?

    A system that works better than every other proposed system still doesn't solve all problems. Our current system does have problems, big problems, but capitalism is an aspect of the system that has made things better for people like us. History isn't puppy dogs and ice cream. Your ability to achieve is far greater under the partial capitalist model than it would have been at any other time. Dude, we don't even have an aristocracy anymore. That is craaaaazy. Aristocrats kinda ruled the world forever. Mercantilism put a small dent into that and capitalism basically eliminated it. You're not bowing to your queen. You still have one, but it's ceremonial. Britain was one of the world leaders in capitalism and protection of private property. The middle class is even a thing because of capitalism. Without that, we'd all just be a bunch of people who work for the aristocracy if we work at all

    I don't know if any of this resonates. Civilization has not been kind to non-aristocrats. You, me, and everybody on this board, if born 600 years ago, would be poor as shit plebs with no rights and no opportunities whatsoever. We should acknowledge this and acknowledge that capitalism is at the heart of what allows somebody to use their own resources to better their lives. That's the definition of the name itself. We could call it "resource-ism" or "do what you can with what you have-ism" and it would be the same thing

    As for third world countries, capitalism is one of the only bright spots in their plight. In China, for example, people are moving in droves from the farms to the cities to work in factories for a better life. We look at these as sweatshops, and in some ways we should, but we should also understand that the policy is non-coercion and the workers are choosing the path as a means to better their lives. It's an absolute shame that it has to be like this, but the other alternative is even worse than that. Those who don't like this shouldn't derail capitalism, but should improve it, for capitalism is the improvement upon what we had before
  17. #167
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    lol
    The car company, not the dude
  18. #168
    Quote Originally Posted by d0zer View Post
    Funny you mention that word.





    I also never said that they completely control the market, only that they have significant influence. Regardless, oil is a barely free market.
    Like I've said before, the more scarce a resource, the less it adheres to a free market. This fact isn't particularly relevant, though. Free markets aren't the only markets, and the oil industry has done a pretty great job of expanding its supply and not gouging prices

    OPEC doesn't have a military. There isn't some grand conspiracy where sovereign states let OPEC get away with murder. OPEC is more of a symptom of the resource scarcity than a result of capitalism. An overarching body needs to control oil in order to optimize utility, but that doesn't mean that all sailing is smooth
  19. #169
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    What would you be doing under another system?
    Well in an ideal system, I would be doing something that is of benefit to everyone, not just me, and not sitting around doing nothing.

    It's a myth. Thousands of scientists and engineers are currently doing stuff at a tech level Tesla didn't know, and they don't say what you say.
    Yup, but the real pioneers are cast into the fringes of science. Such as John Hutchison. He's done some crazy shit, basically an extension of the work Tesla was doing a century ago. His reward? I think he had his Candian offices trashed and his funding cut. Yeah, way to treat a man who is trying to solve one of human's biggest problems - energy.

    Edison carried out a campaign to discourage the use[25] of alternating current, including spreading disinformation on fatal AC accidents, publicly electrocuting animals, and lobbying against the use of AC in state legislatures.
    Oh look an example of personal wealth trumping innovation.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  20. #170
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Well in an ideal system, I would be doing something that is of benefit to everyone, not just me, and not sitting around doing nothing.



    Yup, but the real pioneers are cast into the fringes of science. Such as John Hutchison. He's done some crazy shit, basically an extension of the work Tesla was doing a century ago. His reward? I think he had his Candian offices trashed and his funding cut. Yeah, way to treat a man who is trying to solve one of human's biggest problems - energy.



    Oh look an example of personal wealth trumping innovation.
    I am terribly unconvinced of these anecdotes.

    There are more scientists and engineers working with a more sophisticated understanding of their fields than any predecessors. Are they no match for the legends?

    Stephen Hawking and Edward Witten and thousands of others who built on Tesla's and all the predecessors' knowledge somehow can't pull off the brilliance of the past? Well, it makes for a good fairytale
  21. #171
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    We live in a world where Hawking outlives Amy Winehouse. He's being kept alive by the lizard gods.

    I don't doubt that there's plenty of scientists who are extending Tesla's work. But they're being stifled. If BP or whoever buy out a patent, well it doesn't matter what Hawking can figure out, because if someone beat him to it and sold the patent, then Hawking can do nothing with his fancy numbers and drooly chin.

    You know who John Hutchison is, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  22. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    We live in a world where Hawking outlives Amy Winehouse. He's being kept alive by the lizard gods.

    I don't doubt that there's plenty of scientists who are extending Tesla's work. But they're being stifled. If BP or whoever buy out a patent, well it doesn't matter what Hawking can figure out, because if someone beat him to it and sold the patent, then Hawking can do nothing with his fancy numbers and drooly chin.
    If

    You know who John Hutchison is, right?
    http://www.skepdic.com/hutchisonhoax.html

    Take this up with MMM. He'll get legit mad. Scientists and engineers are not bumbling idiots, and the fields are not magic. They're constructive and informative, and their truths are not buried because they're borne of the physical systems. There wasn't some great wizard who discovered things in the past yet the masses of current professionals can't figure out his shit. Contemporary physics would make Tesla's jaw drop
  23. #173
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    Here's an example of a pioneering scientist being discreditted due to the nature of his work...

    http://www.skepdic.com/hutchisonhoax.html
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  24. #174

















































    Seriously, take it up with MMM. He'll be happy to oblige. Science is not cryptic. Complicated, but sorcery it ain't
  25. #175
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    I'm not suggesting science is sorcery, I'm saying it's being deliberately stifled due to the economic system forced upon us.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  26. #176
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I'm not suggesting science is sorcery, I'm saying it's being deliberately stifled due to the economic system forced upon us.
    And I'm saying that isn't how science works. Not like marginally how it doesn't work, but super how it doesn't work.

    The stuff Hutchison did is not replicable. This not being science is 101 level stuff. Actually, more like 98 level or even 51 level or whatever. There's nothing under the sun that legendary scientists from the past knew that current scientists don't and haven't greatly expounded upon. Tesla didn't input numbers or insert wires in ways engineers of today haven't
  27. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    We live in a world where Hawking outlives Amy Winehouse. He's being kept alive by the lizard gods.
    I'm grunching a bit here, but I can't figure out how this can be anything but a serious, sarcasm free reference to David Icke.
  28. #178
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    There's nothing under the sun that legendary scientists from the past knew that current scientists don't and haven't greatly expounded upon.
    I don't disagree with this. But I do not believe for one second that all important scientific advances are made public. I honestly think that we should be free of fossil fuels by now, Tesla was working on this stuff in the late 1800's. Of course scientists that have come along since then have advanced his work. So where's the benefit to us? Why are we still using oil? Maybe because the energy companies are bankrolling nations and governments.

    It might not be how science works, but it's how govenment and capitalism works. If energy is abundant, then they're gonna have a hard time selling it. You know how much money we put in the meters at my house? We're burning around £30 a week, or $50. That's one household. If energy was free, then Southern Electric go out of business, along with every other energy provider. It won't be happening any time soon.

    The technology is already there, I'm sure of it. I mean we sent people to the moon half a century ago, yet we can't power the world with sunlight and geothermal?

    Listen to that Fresco guy. I'll try to find the link I intended.
    Last edited by OngBonga; 12-18-2013 at 12:00 AM.
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  29. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by boost View Post
    I'm grunching a bit here, but I can't figure out how this can be anything but a serious, sarcasm free reference to David Icke.
    I wasn't being serious there, jfc I know I talk some shit but even I'm not that deluded.
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  30. #180
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsN_Ddub48w

    That's an 8 minute summary of what this guy is about. He's not anti-capitalist in the traditional sense, he's not talking about energy companies being corrupt as fuck etc, he's talking solutions. He's a social engineer.
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  31. #181
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I don't disagree with this. But I do not believe for one second that all important scientific advances are made public. I honestly think that we should be free of fossil fuels by now, Tesla was working on this stuff in the late 1800's. Of course scientists that have come along since then have advanced his work. So where's the benefit to us? Why are we still using oil? Maybe because the energy companies are bankrolling nations and governments.
    What do you mean important scientific advancements aren't made public? Do you know how many scientists and engineers working in a huge variety of different private and public institutions there are? Do you think that a company like Google or Microsoft wouldn't jump at any "hidden" tech? There are a huge number of companies that have enough power by themselves that if the sort of thing you're expressing existed, they could take it on.

    Dude, every car dealership in America HATES Tesla, yet they're in the process of losing the fight. Every ISP in America HATES Google, yet they're in the process of losing the fight. Fucking Hollywood loathes Pirate Bay, yet can't do shit upon shit to stop it, no matter the millions it spends to try to stop just a few megabytes.

    If what you said was true, Mitt Romney would have known about it, and revealed it, and won the election. I don't mean to get esoteric on you, but there are virtually countless ways to combat your assertions.

    It might not be how science works, but it's how govenment and capitalism works. If energy is abundant, then they're gonna have a hard time selling it. You know how much money we put in the meters at my house? We're burning around £30 a week, or $50. That's one household. If energy was free, then Southern Electric go out of business, along with every other energy provider. It won't be happening any time soon.
    And? Oh, are you assuming free energy already exists?

    It doesn't. Energy costs are dramatically dropping, as they have been for decades, yet because it isn't already perpetual motion or whatever, the companies are out to get us all.... The companies that love nothing more than undercutting each other....

    The technology is already there, I'm sure of it. I mean we sent people to the moon half a century ago, yet we can't power the world with sunlight and geothermal?
    With rocket fuel. Like it or not, pulling packed carbon out of the ground and burning it behind a chunk of metal is several magnitudes less difficult than powering a household at cheaper cost on panels of artificial photosynthesis
  32. #182
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsN_Ddub48w

    That's an 8 minute summary of what this guy is about. He's not anti-capitalist in the traditional sense, he's not talking about energy companies being corrupt as fuck etc, he's talking solutions. He's a social engineer.
    I've seen this before. He's begging the question (assuming his premise is true, and building from the assumed premise). Notice how he gives a list of things he thinks are necessary for global sustainability then works from there, yet those things are not currently feasible in the first place

    Also he says things about money. Don't listen to anybody who says anything about money who isn't a monetarist. Seriously. Advancements in monetary policy have altered the world in profound, extravagant ways, but few people care to acknowledge this
  33. #183
    Also saying "resource based economy" is just strange. That's what capitalism is.

    Capital is NOT money. It's resources. Any resource anybody has that you can possibly think of is "capital". If your ability to punch people in the face is a resource, it's your capital. In a market economy, that ability is provided opportunity (boxing, mma, coaching of all sorts). Even something as *resource-less* as being able to punch faces good is itself capital

    Capitalism is fucking amazing. My ability to type words and make people read them is my own capital. If I wrote articles and got ads on those articles and whatever, I'd be using my human capital in ways all other ideologies cannot provide. Instead of working on some Lord's farm for whatever gruel he deems me worthy, I can turn whatever I can into whatever it could be. That's capitalism

    Don't confuse capitalism with "easy-ism". It's not easy. I don't want to use my appreciation for typing lots of stuff for monetary gain. I'm not particular towards using my brain to make money, but that's a different issue. It's not a critique of capitalism so much as it's a critique of humanity
  34. #184
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    Energy costs are dramatically dropping
    No they are not. I am paying a lot more for my energy than I ever have. Are you suggesting $200 a month is cheap?

    And yeah ofc Fresco talks about money. He talks about how there's not enough money in the world to solve our problems, but there are enough resources. And therein lies the problem with the monetry system. It can't work for everyone, it can only work for those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get an advantage over their rivals.

    And? Oh, are you assuming free energy already exists?
    Yes.
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  35. #185
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    Also saying "resource based economy" is just strange. That's what capitalism is.
    Not in the context this guy is talking. He talks about reallocating global resources, that they ARE the currency and that they belong to everyone. It's not capitalism, far from it.
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  36. #186
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    And money is capital, at least it is in the current system. Yes resources is also capital, so is your time and effort. But without money, they're worth jack.
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  37. #187
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    No they are not. I am paying a lot more for my energy than I ever have. Are you suggesting $200 a month is cheap?
    Resource use has increased more than productivity. Even though costs of energy have dropped relative to productivity over the years by substantial margins, use of those resources is skyrocketing to the point that it's overall more expensive for you (and me and everybody we know). Curiously, this is the actuality of the case made by Fresco. People are using as many resources as are available. These big costs are a product of that

    And yeah ofc Fresco talks about money. He talks about how there's not enough money in the world to solve our problems, but there are enough resources. And therein lies the problem with the monetry system. It can't work for everyone, it can only work for those who are willing to do whatever it takes to get an advantage over their rivals.
    That is an incorrect view of the monetary system. I don't know what else to say about it. I read monetary policy as a hobby, and it's way beyond my comprehension. The idea that "there isn't enough money in the world to solve our problems" is not a valid one. At a basic level it doesn't even adhere to economic rules. That's like saying "there's not enough physics to keep people in Africa from floating into space".

    Yes.
    Those with qualifications in the relevant fields do not agree
  38. #188
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Not in the context this guy is talking. He talks about reallocating global resources, that they ARE the currency and that they belong to everyone. It's not capitalism, far from it.
    They are commodities, not currency, and they are being reallocated at faster rates for less affluent people than ever before in the thousands of years of civilization history.

    And money is capital, at least it is in the current system. Yes resources is also capital, so is your time and effort. But without money, they're worth jack.
    Money is capital in its representation of resources. Fundamentally, money is a streamlining of capital, not capital itself
  39. #189
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    Dude my energy is getting more expensive. My fridge isn't suddenly using more electricty to run.

    That is an incorrect view of the monetary system.
    Well that may be so, I have an incorrect view on a lot of things. I blame capitalism for that. I wanted to go to uni and learn shit properly, but I couldn't afford to.
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  40. #190
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Dude my energy is getting more expensive. My fridge isn't suddenly using more electricty to run.
    For a whole bunch of factors, most of which I cannot say.

    What I do know is that increased rate of extraction of fossil increases costs (which increases prices), demand is constantly increasing (which increases costs), and even if the UK got a lot of sun, installing solar panels on your roof requires a hefty up front cost (even with big ass subsidies) and typically requires tech savvy consumers.



    Well that may be so, I have an incorrect view on a lot of things. I blame capitalism for that. I wanted to go to uni and learn shit properly, but I couldn't afford to.
    That's really crappy. Every state's government needs to make sure it can provide education for those who need it. This, however, isn't a problem of capitalism so much of welfarism. Hell, capitalism provides education for more than its counterparts anyways, but it's currently not able to provide for most.

    I am personally quite fortunate in that the government is paying for community college. I will have to take out loads of loans for university though. Regardless, a good degree and smart person behind that degree puts those loans down no sweat
    Last edited by wufwugy; 12-18-2013 at 01:14 AM.
  41. #191
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    I could've taken out loans to go to uni. But it's something like £4-5k a year. How the fuck is that enough to pay rent, bills, eat, computer, books, and all the other shit that is needed, before we even account for the non essentials like socialising and basically trying to enjoy life? It's not. Most people who study have to take on part time jobs, serving drinks and the like. It's a constant struggle balancing work, study and rest, not ideal for optimal performance.

    Education should be flat out free, everyone should be able to learn at all levels of education - school, college and uni - without having to take on debt, and without having to work. That's beneficial to society, well at least it would be if society worked the way we like to think it does.

    But then again maybe it suits those in power to keep us stupid. Why would they want a smart population? Smart people figure out that shit is wrong. Smart people know buildings don't fall at freefall speed when they burn. Smart people don't want to pay £50 to see some twats kicking a ball about. The society they want works better when people are stupid, they just sit and watch TV, cheer on their footy team, and go to fucking work without complaining.

    It's not just capitalism, it's the whole system that is fucked, and has been for a very, very long time.

    The only Western nation that even comes close to ideal is Iceland. They don't use fossil fuels, they don't have crime, they just have a nation of educated, decent people. Democracy is more important to them than the free market.
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  42. #192
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I could've taken out loans to go to uni. But it's something like £4-5k a year. How the fuck is that enough to pay rent, bills, eat, computer, books, and all the other shit that is needed, before we even account for the non essentials like socialising and basically trying to enjoy life? It's not. Most people who study have to take on part time jobs, serving drinks and the like. It's a constant struggle balancing work, study and rest, not ideal for optimal performance.

    Education should be flat out free, everyone should be able to learn at all levels of education - school, college and uni - without having to take on debt, and without having to work. That's beneficial to society, well at least it would be if society worked the way we like to think it does.
    Basically

    But then again maybe it suits those in power to keep us stupid. Why would they want a smart population? Smart people figure out that shit is wrong. Smart people know buildings don't fall at freefall speed when they burn. Smart people don't want to pay £50 to see some twats kicking a ball about. The society they want works better when people are stupid, they just sit and watch TV, cheer on their footy team, and go to fucking work without complaining.
    It isn't a conspiracy. It's incompetence, ignorance, and ideology

    It's not just capitalism, it's the whole system that is fucked, and has been for a very, very long time.

    The only Western nation that even comes close to ideal is Iceland. They don't use fossil fuels, they don't have crime, they just have a nation of educated, decent people. Democracy is more important to them than the free market.
    Several others are pretty great on this, including all of Scandinavia, the blue banana, and probably Canada and Australia and Singapore.

    Things are moving in the right direction
  43. #193
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    Things are moving in the right direction
    Well they're not here, and I doubt very much they are in USA. We're being taken for mugs.

    lol at blue penis
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  44. #194
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Well they're not here, and I doubt very much they are in USA. We're being taken for mugs.
    Over the long stretch of time, they definitely are. Over a short stretch of, say, a few years, I think they still are. We live in a politically tumultuous time. When employment is not full and wages are not rising, people are fucking maaaaaaaaad. This will not last much longer, however. And as the central banks are getting their shit together and realizing that they must target NGDP no matter what, full employment and wage growth will hit stride and stay there for some time. This means that lower level service sector jobs, the ones that everybody says they hate, will see the greatest drop in demand and thus the highest increase in wages
  45. #195
    Even if pure market capitalism was the salve for our soul, it's unnecessary in a perpetually growing economy. And a perpetually growing economy is about supply, namely supply of commodities and money. We don't often have commodity shocks, and had a HUGE money shock in 08, but that shock was artificial, and I think central banks have learned their lessons. Well, at least for a few decades they will have learned. This whole thing isn't particularly new, as the same problem happened in the 30s, where central banks created an artificial money shock. They learned the lesson for several decades, but still reverted to old ways in recent times for some reason.

    I'm not sure what the problem is. I think I blame American anti-intellectualism. This country sets policy for the world (basically), but it has levels of anti-intellectualism in ways that the policies have recently reflected unsound sentiments like how rapid change is bad, so when the country grows rapidly, the central bank has said "hold up!" and created recessions because they let ideology get in the way of sound policy

    I guess that's what happens when the most powerful country in the world includes the hub of the slave trade and pilgrimage, where sophistication is frowned upon
    Last edited by wufwugy; 12-18-2013 at 01:43 AM.
  46. #196
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    And as the central banks are getting their shit together
    Yeah this is where you show you're equally as deluded as I am, only difference is I'm willing to admit it. The banks are not getting their shit together, they can't. All they can do is print more money, but that just gets your nation into more debt. The Federal Reserve prints more money and LOANS it to America. The Federal Reserve is a corporation, a private company. So more money goes into the system, but more debt is taken on, and thus the interest becomes higher. Your nation is bankrupt, as is ours. As soon as oil is traded in another currency, collapse ensues.

    I hope I'm wrong and you're right. I'm not convinced though. I suspect that if I had a better understanding of what's actually going on, then I'd be able to explain better why it's fucked. But I am absolutely convinced it's fucked. How can you sit there and say that all is good when our nations sink further and further into financial oblivion?
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  47. #197
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Yeah this is where you show you're equally as deluded as I am, only difference is I'm willing to admit it. The banks are not getting their shit together, they can't. All they can do is print more money, but that just gets your nation into more debt. The Federal Reserve prints more money and LOANS it to America. The Federal Reserve is a corporation, a private company. So more money goes into the system, but more debt is taken on, and thus the interest becomes higher. Your nation is bankrupt, as is ours. As soon as oil is traded in another currency, collapse ensues.

    I hope I'm wrong and you're right. I'm not convinced though. I suspect that if I had a better understanding of what's actually going on, then I'd be able to explain better why it's fucked. But I am absolutely convinced it's fucked. How can you sit there and say that all is good when our nations sink further and further into financial oblivion?
    You're in luck. If you were right, interest rates would be running high. But they're not. Inflation would be running high, but it's not. In fact, one of the biggest problems (probably the biggest problem) in the economy is that inflation is not high enough. The proof is in the pudding with Europe. The EUR is a disaster because it imposes monetary unity without fiscal unity, and the ECB, which is run basically by Germany and France, won't inflate because they don't need to even if all the other EUR countries need it desperately. This has caused the Euro zone to shrink and shrink and shrink. Fortunately, the ECB and Euro governments have recently begun to see the problem they've created, and they might start fixing it. Frankly, I don't think it will be solved for a long time because Germany has control and will not put up with much inflation, but maybe they will stop the shrinking.


    Do not think of national debt of a country with its own mutli-sector economies and currency like you do household debt. It's a really complicated issue I don't fully understand and don't want to get into. Regardless, several different countries are bosses of the global economy in ways that their currencies cannot default without complete catastrophe, which means they won't. Additionally, the threat of default isn't even evident due to things like interest rates. Everything you've heard about debt and hyperinflation and whatever is simply false. Beyond that, central banking policy is the alpha and omega of economies. This may sound like a joke to you, but it's the furthest from it. Check out this graph



    What you're looking at is a paradigm shift in economies, one based purely on central banking policy. Basically, during the gold standard, every decade was rife with massive inflation and massive deflation. This was catastrophic for business and labor. Then after the Fed dropped the standard and started trying to maintain inflation at about 2%, everything smoothed out greatly. It hasn't been perfect, mostly as you can see through the commodity supply shock of oil in the late 70s, but it is a light year ahead of the previous era. Anyways, the same sort of principle applies to a shift from the central banks allowing inflation to targeting inflation. We are currently likely moving to an economic paradigm where central banks are making sure that the level is targeted, and thus shifts in NGDP growth are minimal. This would not only have kept the Great Recession from happening, but it will push employment to full and keep wages rising in perpetuation in ways that the world has not previously experienced
  48. #198
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    Ong, Wtf are you on about not being able to afford to go to uni. Anyone can in the UK. Are you bitching because you'll need a part time job too? Most students have to get a job. You still live like a bum scratching around for extra money but you get to learn shit too. And you repay student loans at like 5% of income earned above 15k. So it isn't exactly crippling.
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  49. #199
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    Also, re keeping people dumb and trying to restrict higher education. Have you seen entry requirements for some universities these days? There's like plenty with a double E acceptance policy. Ie 2 A levels at grade E. The problem is the opposite. If you don't get into a red brick you're surrounded by dumb fucks who aren't bright enough to learn at a higher level which brings down the quality of the education being paid for.
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  50. #200
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    That said, I'm with ong in the central banks. They control everything, are privately owned, answer to nobody and have immense power. The whole concept of s debt driven society which perpetuates slavery in the form of debt and only helps the general population as a side effect of maintaining the wealth and power of the elite is not ok just because it has some positive effects on the general population. Something is very wrong but I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. Are we better off than 200 years ago, sure. That still doesn't make it right or optimal.
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  51. #201
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    The central banks are instruments of socialism even if they are so-called private companies. They answer to governments. Again not a criticism of capitalism but of big government. Central banks are government-enabled monopolies that do incredible harm changing interest rates from free-market based rates to whatever the fuck basically that they think the rate ought to be. It's a price control like anything else, and it fails massively like every price control in history has.

    Capitalism drives innovation and technology faster than any government can. Honestly the only way that government programs can advance technology is by dumping insane amounts of tax dollars into research, again with a massive expertise deficit. The space race caused a great amount of innovation to occur but it wasted insane amounts of resources in doing so. In terms of stifling innovation, that's what governments do when they make it very expensive and difficult to be an entrepreneur or when they divert tax dollars to the research firms of their own choosing, usually for nepotistic or cronyistic reasons instead of merit-based ones. They also stifle innovation when they subsidize ANY industry, including industries of innovation. A solar-power subsidy distorts the market for alternative energy by providing an unnaturally large signal to get into solar when there might be greener innovative pastures to be found in geothermal energy. Meanwhile markets are naturally pushing toward alternative sources. This can be seen in the rapidly increasing price of oil, which governments including the U.S. hilariously subsidize.

    Ong said that capitalism discourages the use of abundant resources in favor of those that are scarce. This couldn't be farther from the truth. Oil is incredibly abundant and cheap compared with the alternatives, that is why it is the prevalent source. Capitalism doesn't encourage scarcity, it only recognizes its existence. The prices of abundant resources quickly approach zero in a free market as providers continue to innovate and reduce their costs to compete with other providers. The costs of abundant goods are a pretty good sign of how free and developed an economy is. I'm currently living in Cambodia where electricity is the 2nd most expensive on the planet, and drinking water costs about 8 times as much as adjacent Thailand.
  52. #202
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    They answer to governments.
    I strongly disagree with you here renton. I think it's the other way round. Governments answer to the central banks. That's why we're all in so much debt. The only nations that do not answer to the central banks are the ones we invade. And Iceland, who were on our terrosit list for a short time but I guess we realised that there would be literally no justification to invading Iceland.

    Oil is incredibly abundant and cheap compared with the alternatives, that is why it is the prevalent source.
    This is just wow. Why don't you try comparing UK or US energy prices with, say, Iceland? Iceland's energy comes almost exclusively from hydroelectic and geothermal, with 0.1% fossil fuels. We pay twice as much for energy, I'm not sure about you guys because the stats I found include gas for cars, which you're gonna get a lot cheaper than Iceland, plus it probablt varies across states. The vast majority of nations that are cheapr than Iceland are big gas and oil exporters.

    Geothermal is much cheaper. Infrastructure would obviously be very expensive, but we're talking of a super high speed train between London and Birmingham and up North, because saving half an hour getting From London to Manchester is worth many billions of pounds apparently. We can afford to consider trains that go 150mph+ in a small nation, but we can't have clean renewable energy?

    What are the maintenence costs of geothermal? Negligable when compared to drilling oil from the seabed.

    Oil is not abundant, far from it. It is not renewable, we are using a lot more oil than the earth can create. Thus, it is scarce. Abundant means we are using less than can be made, at least when it comes to energy.

    The prices of abundant resources quickly approach zero in a free market
    You say this, but this supports my argument! Why would the powers that be want us to be using an abundant energy source that is virtually free? This is why we're still drilling oil! Because it's scarce, not abundant, and as such can be sold at a much higher price than alternatives.
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  53. #203
    Central banks don't control everything, they administer monetary policy. Monetary policy is such an important part of the economy that you could say it's THE most important part since good policy with make a strong economy while bad policy will destroy it. They don't create debt the way people think, and they don't maintain the wealth of the elite. While it is theoretically possible for a free banking world to function better than central banks, no nation on the planet has ever come close to figuring out how. On the other hand, history is amply on the side of sound central banking. I guess people can say central banks are causing problems that wouldn't exist if they didn't exist, but there really isn't any evidence for that. Monetary policy is pretty complicated stuff that I can't say I understand enough to go much deeper, but be aware that an anti-central banking stance isn't a serious one without some hardcore academic explanations behind it


    Ong, Iceland uses geothermal because it can. It's really cheap in certain places, but its production rate is naturally low and storage/transportation utility is expensive. There isn't some vast conspiracy here. If geothermal was what you said it was, Iceland would be exporting it like crazy and become the new Saudi Arabia. Even if governments dumped a trillion dollars into ramping up geothermal and hydroelectric and wind power and solar and literally everything, the costs to run a car on oil pulled out of the seabed would be far lower. Millions of people with a ton of brainpower have been working on these problems.
  54. #204
    Not allowing free, competitive currencies into a market is a problem. Virtually all governments hate that even though it's good stuff. But it's absolutely essential to have a central bank that runs the national currency. It's possible that all forms of free money could never achieve that high of status without a central bank and government that backs it anyways. Huge inflation and deflation spikes are normal, but it is only after central banks countered them through monetary policy that steady growth became a thing.
  55. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post


    This is just wow. Why don't you try comparing UK or US energy prices with, say, Iceland? Iceland's energy comes almost exclusively from hydroelectic and geothermal, with 0.1% fossil fuels. We pay twice as much for energy, I'm not sure about you guys because the stats I found include gas for cars, which you're gonna get a lot cheaper than Iceland, plus it probablt varies across states. The vast majority of nations that are cheapr than Iceland are big gas and oil exporters.

    Geothermal is much cheaper. Infrastructure would obviously be very expensive, but we're talking of a super high speed train between London and Birmingham and up North, because saving half an hour getting From London to Manchester is worth many billions of pounds apparently. We can afford to consider trains that go 150mph+ in a small nation, but we can't have clean renewable energy?

    What are the maintenence costs of geothermal? Negligable when compared to drilling oil from the seabed.

    Oil is not abundant, far from it. It is not renewable, we are using a lot more oil than the earth can create. Thus, it is scarce. Abundant means we are using less than can be made, at least when it comes to energy.
    I said abundant when compared with the alternatives. We're never gonna run out of oil, man. Naysayers keep saying that we're gonna run out of these finite amounts of oil, aluminum, iron, etc and we keep finding more. It just becomes more and more costly to extract. As this happens, other sources will begin being able to compete with oil. It's a problem that is solving itself.

    Do you honestly think if geothermal were such a bang-on cheaper option that a large firm with billions from investors wouldn't emerge to start providing that to the world?

    I also notice you citing the Zeitgeist movies rather a lot. I can't deny how persuasive and well put together those movies are, but fact checkers have torn them apart. The first movie believed in the 9/11 false flag conspiracy theory for crying out loud, now Peter Joseph shies away from that since a decent amount of people take him seriously as a person now. The resource-based economy espoused by Jacques Fresco is about as misguided and potentially malicious to peoples as the brutal controlled economies that were attempted during the 20th century.
  56. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    If geothermal was what you said it was, Iceland would be exporting it like crazy and become the new Saudi Arabia.
    Quote Originally Posted by Renton View Post
    We're never gonna run out of oil, man.
    These two pearls of wisdom trump any of the nonsense I've spouted. Bravo.
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  57. #207
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    The first movie believed in the 9/11 false flag conspiracy theory for crying out loud
    I can't leave it alone. There is no fucking way fire caused those buildings to collapse. jfc that's so retarded that it amazes me they got away with it. It was the 9/11 stuff that got me watching zeitgeist, but it was Fresco who interested me the most. It's all very well shouting that the world is fucked up but this guy has solutions. I know he's distanced himself from the movement, probably because it's not in his interests to be associated with the 9/11 truth movement.

    The evidence to suggest 9/11 could not have happened as they tell us is pretty overwhelming to me. I don't know what did happen, I can only guess like the majority of fruitcakes on the internet.
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  58. #208
    yeah let's hijack this into a 9/11 truthers or w/e thread!

    I went through a phase and eventually came to the conclusion that there are some fishy things about 9/11 and that the 'conspiracy nuts' speculate some nutty ass shit because there's no hard proof of anything.

    I always thought an interesting angle was the training exercises the admin was running that supposedly confused air traffic, slowing down the scrambling of jets. I've never heard a great explanation for that, especially considering there was intel that shit was maybe going down that day, so why risk anything with drills then? At best, it seems like incompetence on their part, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time someone in history has pulled shit like that. PNAC new pearl harbor IRL risk game stuff fits right in too. Gotta grab dat iraq

    Speaking of which, anyone hear that rumsfeld interview on O&A with louis ck? It's pretty amazing.
    Last edited by d0zer; 12-18-2013 at 09:16 PM.
  59. #209
    Yes it is an undeniable fact that we will not run out of oil. The limits to oil use are rate of production and cost of extraction, not absolute amounts. If we made it a point to consume all oil regardless of any other factors, sure we'd run out of the limited quantity in existence, but this is not relevant in an economics discussion

    On the one hand, we have every credible person on the planet, who all say geothermal can't scale. On the other hand, we have WrongBonga (cheers Hoop), whose greatest musings come over a bowl of electric lettuce
  60. #210
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    lol

    Anyway tell me more about how Iceland could export geothermal power.
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  61. #211
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    yeah let's hijack this into a 9/11 truthers or w/e thread!
    I won't delve further into 9/11 talk unless baited. All I'll say is what they tell us is so obviously bollocks that I facepalm the fucking world. So many smart people just accept the bullshit. We deserve everything we get.
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  62. #212
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  63. #213
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    9/11 was exactly as the official report suggested - WTC 1 & 2 collapsed because there were too many pancakes on the 80th floor, WTC7 was brought down by the stay puft marshmallow and the F16s were despatched from langley in the wrong direction because godzilla was spotted in the ocean. It's all legit
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  64. #214
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    Yup, exactly how the report suggested. The guy who claims he wasn't one of the hijackers, I don't buy it. I believe America because America Fuck Yeah.
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  65. #215
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    There are some fishy things about 9/11, but the controlled demolition theory is absurd. At worst, the gov't knew about it and let it happen. Most likely though its more like the gov't had intelligence but failed to act on it in time. Sometimes you just have to consult Occam's Razor. It's simply too contrived for such a grand conspiracy to happen in the information age. The Kennedy assassination, on the other hand, was almost certainly a conspiracy.
  66. #216
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    I think a lot of the anti-capitalism feeling comes from jealousy and a feeling that the system is stacked against the non-wealthy. I mean, the system works by those who have lots doing things with their resources with the sole purpose of gaining more. Those who don't have much have little choice but to play the game and do whatever is asked of them by those who have in order to get a little for themselves. Those who have know that they only need to give a little to those who haven't in order for to grow their assets at a rate which is not feasible for those who haven't.

    This is what pisses people off. They have little choice but to play the game.

    So the anger isn't really about capitalism being the optimal way to expand resources for all, it's a feeling that those with all the resources have a huge amount of power and freedom, specifically the freedom to not be forced to play the game that those without such assets are forced to play, and this is perceived as being unfair.

    This feeling isn't wrong. The system is quite simply set up by those with power and resources in order for those with power and resources to maintain and grow their power and resources. Everyone else gets something as a by-product of this system.

    I don't think anyone begrudges someone who works hard, has a new idea and manages to move from the group of have nots to the group of haves, but people are angered that the haves tend to always have and their future generations will do also. Maybe the way to remove a lot of the anger at the system is to not allow anyone to pass on assets of greater than x to their offspring, with x being a small number. Maybe upon death all assets should revert to the population as a whole somehow, so the game is reset every generation, rather than having been started hundreds of years ago and nothing more than the luck of who you are born to determining your chances of success.
    Last edited by rong; 12-19-2013 at 03:59 PM.
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  67. #217
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    In fact the more I think about it the more the above makes sense. It's that so much wealth is stuck at the top and doesn't circulate, which is one of the tendencies of capitalism. It isn't temporary either. If wealth was recycled upon death somehow then it would ensure a more equal chance for everyone and remove the problem of wealth disparity to a huge extent.
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  68. #218
    I agree with the description, but am not sure if estate taxes solve the problem. To whatever degree we tax estates, corporations also have to be taxed. Removing money from the ownership of individuals would give corporations tremendous power advantages they don't currently have. People tend to like the idea of taxing corporations anyways, but that's probably worse than taxing individuals based on investment reduction rates

    I tend to consider distaste for the silver spoon a red herring that doesn't solve any problems. The wealthy usually become the most educated and most productive, largely because they have to in order to not go broke. There's a whole lot of flux in whose wealthy and whose not, and I don't see that many examples of de facto dynasties through estates (none, actually).

    Overall, I guess I just don't support taxing businesses or individuals. Tax sales. It's the easiest thing to meaningfully quantify, and the encouragement of savings would overall make the economy far stronger and wealthier.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City wouldn't exist if it wasn't for one dude having incredibly rich parents
  69. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    I agree with the description, but am not sure if estate taxes solve the problem. To whatever degree we tax estates, corporations also have to be taxed. Removing money from the ownership of individuals would give corporations tremendous power advantages they don't currently have. People tend to like the idea of taxing corporations anyways, but that's probably worse than taxing individuals based on investment reduction rates Agree with the corporations issue.

    I tend to consider distaste for the silver spoon a red herring that doesn't solve any problems. The wealthy usually become the most educated and most productive, largely because they have to in order to not go broke. But they have the means to do so, that's the point!

    There's a whole lot of flux in whose wealthy and whose not, and I don't see that many examples of de facto dynasties through estates (none, actually). Would love to see how many of the top 1% wealthiest individuals started in the top say 3% or maybe had parents in the top 3% or w/e.

    Overall, I guess I just don't support taxing businesses or individuals. Tax sales. It's the easiest thing to meaningfully quantify, and the encouragement of savings would overall make the economy far stronger and wealthier.

    Also, I'm pretty sure Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City wouldn't exist if it wasn't for one dude having incredibly rich parents. This would still be the case. If the parents couldn't pass it on upon death they would have no reason to do anything other than plough it into their offspring like this. Besides which, a few examples of the current system working aren't proof that it is optimal or that alternatives aren't better.



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  70. #220
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    Also, re the corporation issue, ownership of the corporation can't be passed on either, so upon death those shares would have to be sold and any revenue be ploughed back into society. So how would it be an issue?
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  71. #221
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    I wonder if the realisation that funds can't be passed on to offspring would result in an increase in philanthropic projects?
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  72. #222
    Quote Originally Posted by rong
    But they have the means to do so, that's the point!
    If that is the point (which I agree it is important), I think there are better ways to achieve them. Some measure of redistribution is probably necessary to make a welfare state that addresses this, but I don't think it's as much as people think. Taxing wealth because its there isn't the same as -- and can be counter to -- welfare goals. I think that all our welfare goals can be met through straight sales taxes, but if that's not true, a measure of progressiveness would be necessary, but that means something as simple as 5% higher tax on wealthy estates (we already do this and more anyways), which virtually nobody has a problem with. It's when the ideologies that think of things as "unearned wealth" and similar notions that there comes support for huge taxes, like over 50% of estates, which is probably pretty bad

    This would still be the case. If the parents couldn't pass it on upon death they would have no reason to do anything other than plough it into their offspring like this. Besides which, a few examples of the current system working aren't proof that it is optimal or that alternatives aren't better.
    This looks like a loophole to the tax, which looks like it would create more recklessness

    Also, re the corporation issue, ownership of the corporation can't be passed on either, so upon death those shares would have to be sold and any revenue be ploughed back into society. So how would it be an issue?
    Parents can't pass on assets to kids?

    I wonder if the realisation that funds can't be passed on to offspring would result in an increase in philanthropic projects?
    This sort of thing already exists, but to what degree I don't know. Maybe it needs to be more, maybe not

    I feel like overall it doesn't really change much. Like take big tech companies for example, most of them are reinvesting at high rates because it's better business for them. This shows the system working, that the inherent incentives are there. I can't think of any examples of true hoarding, where a company sits on money forever and ever. Any company that does that will quickly get crushed by competition. Apple currently does it, but Apple is sort of an outlier that has never been that good at business. It took 30 years or whatever for technology to finally catch up to its business model, and its doing basically jack shit to make sure the company will survive another 30.
  73. #223
    When it comes to finances, people have a "circle the wagons" mentality. Because of this, I don't think taxes on individuals, especially ones that treat people differently, are a smart move. Sales taxes don't really have this effect because the individual is in the process of buying something when paying the tax, but when a collector shows up at the door and takes money you feel you own, unforeseen problems happen. Here's an example

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/...et_rid_of.html

    Olive Garden and Red Lobster are not doing well, and the first response by the shareholders is "circle the wagons!" It's self-preservation. It happens in business and it happens in the household. If people think they're being over-taxed, they're gonna act like it

    This is why economic growth is so important. Wealth redistribution when times are tough just causes strife, but in a growing economy where people expect steadily growing wages and profits for the future, the "circle the wagons" mentality is lessened. This is why central banks are so important. Nothing comes close to affecting growth like central banks. You can basically do anything when you control money, because you control a necessary facet of growth. All the most brilliant entrepreneurs on the planet would be powerless in a shrinking economy
  74. #224
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    ong rong 1-2 punch is picking this thread up.

    Too much to read right now, though. All I want to say is that I was thinking about Prudential as the military purchaser of a free society and the picture gets ridiculously complicated after a few steps. First, the idea of an insurer is the same as a casino, make as many +EV bets as possible, but the insurer carries around many more liabilities. I assume insurers fight this slight risk of ruin in the face of redundant calamities through cost-saving measures (denials, pay-out caps, etc). Imagine the sort of risks you would be assuming if you were to insure against extra-societal military forces (existential forces). The fee we pay to insure against those risks is what we call a Military Budget and it is huge. How could competition thrive in a market with such overwhelming demand requiring coherent entities to satisfy? Prudential would have to be far and away the biggest company around to insure all of everything else and any competitor must also be way the biggest company around.

    Anyway, I just don't see how you can ever get people who hold the legal authority to wield armies to give 'em up and transition into a free society unless it was some poe-dunk Euro nation (and even the Eurozone is chattering about getting its defense act together these days) and will on these gounds declare a fully free market society impossible to mine imagination!

    Next up, steps in that direction anyway!

    edit: cleaned it up a slice.
    Last edited by a500lbgorilla; 12-19-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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  75. #225
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    Quote Originally Posted by rong View Post
    I think a lot of the anti-capitalism feeling comes from jealousy and a feeling that the system is stacked against the non-wealthy. I mean, the system works by those who have lots doing things with their resources with the sole purpose of gaining more. Those who don't have much have little choice but to play the game and do whatever is asked of them by those who have in order to get a little for themselves. Those who have know that they only need to give a little to those who haven't in order for to grow their assets at a rate which is not feasible for those who haven't.

    This is what pisses people off. They have little choice but to play the game.

    So the anger isn't really about capitalism being the optimal way to expand resources for all, it's a feeling that those with all the resources have a huge amount of power and freedom, specifically the freedom to not be forced to play the game that those without such assets are forced to play, and this is perceived as being unfair.

    This feeling isn't wrong. The system is quite simply set up by those with power and resources in order for those with power and resources to maintain and grow their power and resources. Everyone else gets something as a by-product of this system.

    I don't think anyone begrudges someone who works hard, has a new idea and manages to move from the group of have nots to the group of haves, but people are angered that the haves tend to always have and their future generations will do also. Maybe the way to remove a lot of the anger at the system is to not allow anyone to pass on assets of greater than x to their offspring, with x being a small number. Maybe upon death all assets should revert to the population as a whole somehow, so the game is reset every generation, rather than having been started hundreds of years ago and nothing more than the luck of who you are born to determining your chances of success.
    Somebody better call the jelly-school.

    I do endorse this analysis from emotional intelligence or whatnot. Executive leadership is about moving human pieces, and they are an emotional bunch.
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