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Showing posts from February, 2015

Useless Waste is what Provides Jobs

This is one way of trying to address the issue of a whole lot of GDP being useless waste–for example, lots of marketing people flying around from meeting to meeting. The problem, of course, is that the useless waste is what provides jobs. Without the essentially wasteful jobs, we have an even larger number of people unemployed. It becomes even harder to repay debt with interest. The government tries to fix this, but in the end, it is the government/financial system that fails. - Gail Tverberg

To Share the Wealth of the Very Rich is Not Possible

The advantage of tipping most of the wealth toward the very rich is that they tend to spend very little of it. If it all were taxed away, and distributed to the poor, they would try to actually spend the wealth. The catch is that this wouldn’t actually result in the huge amount of goods needed to fill the needs of the less wealthy. There isn’t enough oil being extracted to build all of the cars and houses that the new-found wealth would buy (plus pay the wages of all of the people needed to build these things).

I am not a student of thermodynamics, but intuitively what you say this makes sense to me. These presentations are at this point are still in draft form, and the “Overview of the Networked Economy” in particular is short, so could be added to. The thermodynamics behind this change in wealth distribution would be an interesting addition. - Gail Tverberg

Spend Your Savings Now, or Never!

I agree. The vast majority of the wealth of the billionaires will simply be lost. They can only eat a certain number of calories–about the same number as the rest of us. They can only sleep in one bed a night. The pixels in their bank account statements may say that they have a lot of money to spend in the future. When the time comes when they think they can spend it, it likely won’t be there. - Gail Tverberg

We are Now in the Prelude to Collapse

That is a good point–the “something different” that we are already into is very low oil prices. This is the prelude to collapse, because we cannot actually pull the oil out at these prices.

You are also right about existing man-made ecosystems needing oil–namely farms and farm substitutes, and the whole transportation system for getting the things distributed to us. There are many parts to it, including processing and distribution. Solar panels don’t fix this problem. - Gail Tverberg

The Way Subsidies Work is they Tax the Poor to Make Solar Panels and Electric Cars Available to the Rich

Thanks! People don’t realize that these so-called renewables move forward coal and natural gas use (so more is extracted and burned), and take oil use that might be used for other purposes. EROEI calculation using standard EROEI factors don’t come anywhere close to showing how much energy really goes into making and transporting them and their backup devices. People think that there is “net energy,” when really there isn’t. The way subsidies work is they tax the poor to make solar panels and electric cars available to the rich. The system makes people think there is a solution, when there isn’t. - Gail Tverberg

Humanizing Technology

Excerpted from a post by Charles Siegel.

This recent history of architecture and urbanism is important because it involves a key issue of our time: How should we use technology for human purposes?

Among mid-century modernists, the design centered on the technology. The dogma was that the design must be an “honest expression” of modern materials and functions—in other words, an expression of modern technology. The modernists’ designs were so striking visually that they helped spread technophilia through society.
Among the serious postmodernists and the New Urbanists, design centers on the human users. They are not against modern technology, but they are selective in their use of technology. They use modern technology when it helps to create good places for people.

For example, modernists designed cities around the automobile. They had faith that this new technology would improve our lives and, in any case, would inevitably dominate our lives, because you can’t stop progress. By the 196…

Technological Progress in a Market Economy is Self-Terminating and Ends in Collapse

Read the whole essay by JMG here.

At this point it may be helpful to sum up the argument I’ve developed here:

a) Every increase in technological complexity tends also to increase the opportunities for externalizing the costs of economic activity;

b) Market forces make the externalization of costs mandatory rather than optional, since economic actors that fail to externalize costs will tend to be outcompeted by those that do;

c) In a market economy, as all economic actors attempt to externalize as many costs as possible, externalized costs will tend to be passed on preferentially and progressively to whole systems such as the economy, society, and the biosphere, which provide necessary support for economic activity but have no voice in economic decisions;

d) Given unlimited increases in technological complexity, there is no necessary limit to the loading of externalized costs onto whole systems short of systemic collapse;

e) Unlimited increases in technological complexity in a market ec…

Generating a Neighborhood that Works

The essence of successful unfolding is that form develops step by step, and that the building as a whole then emerges, coherent, organized. The success if this process depends, always, on sequence. A building design can unfold successfully only when its features “crystallize out” in a proper order.

Instead of using plans, design, and so on, I shall argue that we must instead use generative processes. Generative processes tell us what to do, what actions to take, step by step, to make buildings and building designs unfold beautifully, rather than detailed drawings which tell us what the end-result is supposed to be.

The step-by-step approach works. The all-or-nothing approach does not work. This is the secret of biological evolution. During the course of evolution, the adaptation of the thousands and millions of variables that must occur to make one successful organism happens step-by-step, essentially one gene at a time. That is what makes evolution possible. It would be impossible for …

Three Evils of Capitalism

Excerpted from a longer piece by professor Eric Schechter. I strongly recommend reading the whole essay here. “The old world is dying; we must move on to the new world being born. How will we make the great change? I don’t know the details of that. But it has already begun; you can see it in the peaceful demonstrators being beaten by police. Awareness and understanding are spreading, and our foremost tactic must be to spread them further. When enough people see what is really going on, we will unite, and we will find a way to change things, and the violence will end. 1st evil:   INEQUALITY (3:30 in video) The data in Thomas Piketty’s recent book shows that increasing economic inequality is a normal trend in capitalism, not an aberration. The problem is deeper than debt-based currency or any other particular method of exploitation and theft. It is inherent in all market economies, even barter economies: Market transactions increase inequality, because they favor whichever participant is …

KULTURVERK på PAPIR

Ved hjelp av instrumentell tenkemåte har vi i det moderne utviklet en teknologi som har ført med seg stadig nye, 'uante' konsekvenser. Vårt demo- krati er avhengig av velgere som forstår sammen- hengene i sammenkjedingen av disse konsekvensene, slik at de er i stand til å fremme en demokratisk prak- sis som med handlekraft setter i verk tiltak for en naturvennlig fremtid. Til det formålet trenger vi danningsinstitusjoner og folkeopplysning som er virkelighetsorientert og som utløser verdi- dannende læring for et liv i lage.
Så lenge samfunnskontrakten er basert på 'samfunnsøkonomisk lønnsomhet' etter ressurs- økonomisk tenkemåte, taper menneskeverd og naturverd i kost-nytte-analysene. Tidsskrift som er kritiske til dagens situasjon, mangler i Norge i dag. Publikasjoner i kultursfæren såvel som i miljøbevegelsen' mangler redak- sjonell innsikt til å avsløre de sterke lobbyene som er driverne i vårt politiske liv. Oljelobbyens innflytelse på norsk  klimapolitikk er …

Pesten vender tilbake

Av Ingvar Ambjørnsen


Nå i 2015 forlater jødene Europa i tusentall. De frykter – med god grunn – for sine liv. Jeg hadde aldri trodd jeg skulle få oppleve noe slikt.

Faren min gikk på skolen sammen med Arnold Jacoby. Som fjortis syntes jeg det var stas, for Jacoby var forfatter, og jeg hadde allerede begynt å drømme meg inn i den rollen. Jacoby bodde utrolig nok i vår lille filleby, Larvik, selv om han var født i selveste New York. Han skrev krim og spenning for både ungdom og voksne, og syslet til og med tegneserier.
Og vi vet jo hvorfor. Men læren om holocaust må bankes inn, ikke bare på videregående, men i grunnskolen. Det må være pensum. Det er livsfarlig å late som om det store antallet muslimske barn og ungdommer i klasserommene er helt uproblematisk i denne sammenhengen, slik mange nå velger å gjøre. Det er vanskelig å røre ved dette i dagens opphetede situasjon, men det er ingen vei utenom. Senere kom den store biografien om barndomsvennen Thor Heyerdahl. Hans viktigste bragd som…

InnGruppe-Demokratiet (IGD), et reelt, pragmatisk UTOPIA!

Øyvind Holmstad 9 t · Gjøvik Jeg mener å huske at dommerpanelet hos forskningsrådet avviste MEDOSS som utopia. Dette er et dårlig argument. De burde heller tatt til seg MEDOSS fordi MEDOSS er utopia. Merk at mens utopia tidligere betydde det umulige, betyr det nå det ikke tillatte. Les den flotta artikkelen Michel Bauwens har satt sammen om UTOPIA, og la oss fremme IGD som et pragmatisk utopia i positiv forstand: - In defense of pragmatic ‘real utopias’: http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/in-defense-of-pragmatic-…/…/19


In defense of pragmatic 'real utopias' | P2P Foundation We badly need more utopian speculation. The consensus future we read about in the media and that we’re driving towards is a roiling, turbulent fogbank beset by half-glimpsed demons: climate... BLOG.P2PFOUNDATION.NET Liker ·  ·  Sett av 9

Kristendommens utvikling i en historisk kontekst

Les artikkelen her.

Mine kommentarer
Øyvind Holmstad 19. februar 2015 klokka 19:44 Man kan da vel heller si at kristendommen er grunnlagt på forfølgelse og som en konterreaksjon fra de fattige mot elitenes makt og etikk, neoplatonismen. Konstantins omfavning av kristendommen kan på mange vis sammenlignes med Lenins omfavnelse av de fattige gjennom kommunismen, for å skyve elitene fra seg. Kristendommen var opprinnelig de fattiges religion, likesom kommunismen var de undertryktes (sivile) religion i det gamle Sovjet. Lenin inngikk en allianse med de fattige gjennom kommunismen, likeledes som Konstantin inngikk en allianse med de kristne vel halvannet millenium tidligere. Her er intet nytt under solen. JMG sier det således:

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.no/2014/12/dark-age-america-sharp-edge-of-shell.html
«The awkward fact remains that classical philosophy, like modern science, functioned as a social phenomenon and filled certain social roles. The intellectual power of the final Neop…

Enforcement

In principle, decisions without enforcement grow weak and eventually wither. When rules or policies are not enforced it causes confusion, resentment, and conflict. The word enforcement comes from a Latin word meaning strength. To enforce decisions is to strengthen them.

Practical Tip: Take preventative measures to ensure that members of your group understand the rules of your group. Honor the rules of your group. If you disagree with the rules: Follow them anyway, leave the group, or work in peaceful ways to change the rules.

When you see someone breaking group rules, try these steps:

1. Discuss with them what you saw. Don't ignore it when you see practice out of sync with policy. Such a conversation may bring to light that they "simply didn't know better," or that they interpret the rule differently, or that a larger issue needs to be addressed. If that doesn't work,

2. Point out the consequences of the violation. "When you do ___________, it affects others i…

Vera Bradova: Moment-to-moment unfolding

Stunning essay by my very dear Alexandrine friend Vera Bradova. There is no person in the whole world I should like more to have as a member of my neighborhood. Just imagining what she could have done!

Read the original essay at Bradova's blog here.

Moment-to-moment unfolding
You are lost in a the middle of a dark primeval forest. A moonless night breathes all around you; soft rain is falling. You long to be somewhere safe, warm, and dry. A tiny keychain flashlight illuminates the immediate space — the rest is near-impenetrable blackness. Bogs, logs and wild hogs wait to trip you up. How do you find your way?

Your senses on edge, you look, listen, sniff the breezes. A faint gurgling of a nearby brook gives you initial direction. You take a step, then examine what’s around and ahead. You take another step. It occurs to you to follow the creek downstream. The next few steps reveal an impassable steep bank. A detour leads into a huge rocky scree. “How do I get back to the water?” You …

Platon trenger IGD & IGD som gaveøkonomi

Væringen
17. februar 2015 klokka 05:32
Henriksen,
Som et apropos til kommentaren om penger og makt… Platons tanker om idealsamfunnet bestod jo blant annet av tanker om akkurat det. Hans løsning var at politiske ledere ikke kunne være rike og at ledere skulle leve i en slags askese. Salig Platon hadde et svært godt poeng der.

Svar

Øyvind Holmstad
17. februar 2015 klokka 08:33
Det kan Platon bare drømme om uten inngruppas begrensninger gjennom handikapprinsippet. Derfor kan Platons ideer kun realiseres gjennom InnGruppe-Demokratiet!

Takk for disse tankene! Jeg skal ta dem med meg i mitt videre arbeid for implementeringen av IGD, et vektig argument.

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En mulig arbeidstittel kan være: «InnGruppe-Demokratiet som forutsetning for Platons ideer om idealsamfunnet»

Med IGD mot en ny gaveøkonomi
Øyvind HolmstadJeg kom til å tenke på at egentlig blir IGD en form for gaveøkonomi, slik Gail kommer inn på det i artikkelen, da det i begge tilfeller er inngruppa som gjør at økonomien…