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Author Topic: An essay in futility, too long to read :)  (Read 280813 times)

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1450 on: 14/10/2015 18:36:32 »
No. But I think you have summarised it well enough for me not to need to.

Spend-by dates are fine for the rich. If you already have a house, car, etc., your short-dated money can be spent on slow horses and fast women, but if you have no roof over your head, you never will have. There is an effective spend-by date on the form of inheritance tax, which is essentially a way of government telling you not to look after your children. Obviously it doesn't apply to the really wealthy as the family farms, mines, ships etc., belong to the company or trust, but it screws the middle classes who just happen to have paid off a mortgage before dying.
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1451 on: 14/10/2015 23:19:14 »
Oh Alan, you don't know what your missing, it's a brilliant book!  To further summarise, to the end of illuminating my point more sufficiently:
It is set in a concentration camp of English and American war captives, Japanese captors (I think, eek, it's been a while, I'm not one for remembering these type of details)... The story is told mostly from the perspective of the inmate who is a 'man who can get you stuff'.  The slant of the writing takes you into his world and how he views himself as being of a service.  People want stuff, he can get it, it's all fair trade.  One finds oneself admiring his acumen, almost mutually basking in the respect and gratitude his mind interprets of his peers, and sympathising with his strategy.  It's a most insidious piece of writing!  The reader finds oneself lulled into a sense of social normalisation... (thanks Alan, good terminology that)... The book is geared to the values of a capitalistic society.  By the end of the book, when the American soldiers show up to liberate the camp, as the reader, you experience a shocking change of perspective that throws you back at the values that form the very basis of your own society, as the attitude of these soldiers towards this individual are becoming apparent.  He is not emaciated and near deaths door.  Everybody else is!  (This being just my interpretation, I realise)

From a phycological and sociological view point, when a society is reduced and contained, such as in captivity, or in an experimental scenario, experiment notes that certain characteristics are observed as inherent.  Time and time again, in experimental circumstances, the same type of group characteristics arise, including Alpha, Omega tendencies.  Interestingly, it has been noted, in experiment, that it only takes 2 people, in a room of 20, instructed to have the same views, and exert them on the others, to sway the rest of the room their way.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/389166/Britain-and-its-seven-new-social-classes-so-where-do-you-fit-in

The established middle class and the technical middle class constitute 31% of the population.  Given that the elite, (and let's face it, we are only observing the fact of their wages and savings, not their overall business assets and income, in this survey) the elite are in the interests of big business and they also recognise economically that 31% of the population cannot possibly uptake the lifestyle that they upkeep.  Therefore the elite have to keep the middle classes down, but... they also cannot possibly upkeep their elite position in life without them.  It would spell the end for them should the middle classes side with the poor.  The result is an extremely clever interplay of psychological status expectation and financial chess.  It's actually an extremely impressive slight of hand tbh, that keeps the middle classes from elevating their position and blames the poor for it, while encouraging the poor to worship and emulate the rich, and then despise and steal from the middle classes, who cannot afford to protect themselves as the rich can!  A truly self perpetuating situation in which the rich win, win, win.  Essentially, the game is rigged!
The rich know it, the poor know it, but the middle classes are as sold and as servile to the psyche, as in being blind to it, this being the most brilliantly devised part of the game...and that, that is the travesty!

Going back to the matter of distribution of wealth.  Noting that due to a Housing Benefits cap, that states that a tenant who is paying rent x, will only receive payment y, which is z less than the required rent he must pay.  On the basis that he is on the dole, or on a low wage that has made him eligible for Housing Benefit, where is he supposed to find this amount of z from?  The man on the dole, is on the dole!  The man on a low wage, perhaps he should find a second job, but fact is, he's pretty lucky to have obtained one job in this current climate.  What we observe is that with the stroke of a pen, a whole section of people have just been forced into working off the cards, black market activity, or theft.  We have created a new batch of criminals.  Couple that with a law that states if you are found with 500 or more that you do not have a wage slip for, or that you cannot prove has been paid to you by, or withdrawn from a bank, this money will be confiscated from you by the state.
This underlying hypocrisy regarding wealth distribution is particularly unattractive.
Should someone decide to create a group to lobby the government in protest of this law, or whatever their flavour is, and this group were to be considered 'controversial' to public interest, (I think that's what they call it), that persons name will go on a list, and they could, just on the basis of being a part of an active lobby group, be subject to anti-terrorist law arrest and held for 2 weeks, or more, without charge, or there being any evidence of any wrong doing at-all!

When you look at these laws that have been implemented from this perspective Alan, its more than a bit scary!

I think the implementation of a spend by date, which of course would have to apply to all money, regardless of who it belonged to, would ultimately initiate a change in peoples psychological make up.  I think that the whole status symbol attitude would collapse and that people may find more inventive and productive ways to get rid of their money before it became defunct.  They might decide to work less even, creating more jobs for others, taking more interests with their families and friends.  In a society where money is flowing around quickly, I think that people would soon realise that the most precious commodity that we possess in this world is our time!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1452 on: 15/10/2015 00:28:13 »
I repeat: A spend-by date on money will harm the poor, who will be unable to save for any large purchase, but will have no effect on the wealthy who either have all the major assets they could want (like a house) or can trade durables or commodities.

Consider commodity trade for a moment. Suppose I earn 1000 per week but only need to spend 100 to stay alive. But there is a 1-week limit on the validity of my cash. So each week I buy 900 worth of wheat futures - not necessarily through a commodity market but, say, by giving it directly to a farmer in exchange for a portion of his future sale. In a few weeks I own a significant tradeable asset that I could swap for a car, say. There isn't an "eat by" date on the wheat because it hasn't been harvested yet. So the spend-by date doesn't redistribute my income or benefit the poor, it just encourages me to speculate on durable goods rather than keep any surplus as cash in the bank. Worse: the guy who only earns 110 per week won't be able to save his surplus 10 and will find it difficult to invest such a small sum. And it doesn't benefit the farmer if he can't spend my 900 this week but needs 3600 next month to pay contractors for spraying....

Now and again I need to raise 2,000,000 capital for a medical project. Half of this is spent as a single payment on hardware (MRI/CT/linac, whatever) and half is spent over a period of about 6 months on preparing buildings, buying in consumables, and training staff. How could such a sum be acquired (it has to be in the bank or secured as a guaranteed loan before any supplier will start work on my project) and what will happen to the money if the project is delayed?

I agree that the Terrorism Act (how ironically named) is appalingly drafted - it doesn't even define terrorism! But there's worse to come when TTIP is nodded through and it will be illegal for your elected representatives to protect you and your public assets. The EU is negotiating the final victory of naked capitalism, at your expense. And remember, as happened in Ireland (and is quite likely to happen in Scotland), if a democratic vote doesn't give the "right" result, you will have to keep voting until they are satisified.
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1453 on: 15/10/2015 09:54:26 »
Ok, (chuckle), admittedly there may be some teething problems that could need ironing out :D.  Perhaps some administrative conditions might have to apply in the case of projects... However, if you allowed 200 000 poor men to invest one payment of his 10p/w extra in your project, at a return of a 10% immediate return on his investment p/w, on the basis that he re-invest all money received through these weekly transactions of escalating interest on this initial investment, for the period of this projects building duration, until completion - your project will have a 'legal' spend by date flowing money float to work with.  At the completion of your project, you then set up another investment deal for a number of poor men investors, to invest the amount of money that the original investors, some of whom did not sign up to continue on as shareholder investors with their escalated investment in the finished project, will now need paying back as their return.  What you have is 200 000 + poor men minority shareholders in your company, who by spend date rules, you must pay their share of all net profits regularly in order not to defunct the money, and all you've done is cut the bank out of the equation.  Presumably you are building this company as per requirement of necessity to need.  In a world where money 'must' be spent, your services will be up-taken immediately and there will be no possibility of net losses.
Because you yourself will have to spend all your money all the time anyway, and truly, spending money will get boring - your onus for being involved in the project in the first place will not be originated from, or blighted by the aspect of yours or others personal desire for excessive financial gain.  Your 200 000 + poor man minority investors will now have more regular income spending power than they possessed before, and an individual can then invest his regular shareholder payments into other such similar projects.  Or, if he wishes, in order to improve or purchase a house, he can then set up a project of his own.  Getting 22 000 poor people to invest 10 at an agreed interest rate, that he will now be able to pay them back on a weekly basis, off the back of his investment in your project, etc.
Yes, we might see the rich convert cash into durable commodity, and we would then observe the hoarding continue.  But I reckon that after a while people would grow tired of it.  What point is there in having stuff?  If it's stuff that people need, what you going to do?  Hang on to it?  For what purpose?  And as soon as you sell it, you got to spend the money.  Then what, buy new stuff?  Start hoarding stuff that people don't want or need as a solution?  Seriously, I think the world of commodities would become severely boring, and raising money for worthwhile projects would become academic.  Home owners and landlords would invest their savings in their land and houses, causing employment and improving living conditions.  What point in raising the rents, only have to invent more ways to spend the excess revenue.  Money that became defunct could be denoted as state money for the cause of the nation.  I suspect that rather than deal with impending spend by date defunct-tions, some folks might just choose to allow their unspent monies to be defunct-ed to the state, where-as the state would also have to adhere to spend by date restrictions, or the money would be defunct to charity, and if the charity did not adhere to spend by date, the money then defuncts back to state, etc.  Resulting in a world where all manner of great and progressive things would happen quickly, employment would be high, and the economy would blossom.

I want to live in a world that I can ask anyone to buy me a coffee, and they will smile and feel like I am doing them a favour.  The question being, that in a world like this, would there still be someone wanting to serve coffee?  I'd say yes!  Yes there would, but just not someone who wanted to serve coffee for a multinational is all!!!

The spend by date philosophy, I think :) ... constitutes of exactly the right mix of the best parts of socialism, communism and capitalism, as to be damn near perfect ;)

Really Alan, actually I think that spend by date money could be the making of poor people!  The middle classes could help the poor, and in return be helped by the poor, and rich people would be too busy trying to spend all their money to care...lol :)

P.S.  Do you think I should probably get off my soap box now?  I might find my own name on a list if I'm not careful!
« Last Edit: 15/10/2015 10:14:00 by timey »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1454 on: 15/10/2015 12:11:41 »
OK, let's try it. Everything you earn has a spend-by date - you can choose the date, but it can't be more than two months because most people get paid monthly and we don't want you hoarding! Now any money you haven't spent in the required time goes to....well not the government, obviously, because I wouldn't trust the present lot not to waste it. So for the purposes of the experiment, give it to me.

I look forward to receiving the first instalment before Christmas. And since coins are indistinguishable, I require full accounting of all received coins plus a list of the banknote numbers received and spent, plus receipts for all the expenditure, and full access to all your bank accounts just in case you get a dierect transfer. If you think that's onerous, wait till you meet a real tax inspector!   
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1455 on: 15/10/2015 12:43:29 »
Lol, lol, lol, Alan.  Very Good!

I was thinking more of dispensing with money all together, and the banks as well for that matter.  All transactions would be by bit coin via the net, and all accounts, business or otherwise, be open to public view on the net.  Because the onus would be on spending your bit coins before they defunct-ed, the only concern would be from hackers trying to offload theirs, or hired to offload others, unwanted bit coins from their account, to another's account, because they can't be bothered to go out and spend them, but don't wish the revenue to go to the government they don't agree with.

Seriously Alan.  You have to get with the psyche on this to appreciate its 'brilliance' (lol) ... People will start to not care about money!!!  How much food can you eat?  How many clothes can you wear?  How much tat do you want to be responsible for?
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1456 on: 15/10/2015 13:47:07 »
Go back to basics. Money is virtual work. Civilisation is specialisation.

If you want to be a naked hunter-gatherer, go right ahead, but if you want someone else to make your spears, you will need to trade something with him because the time he spends making spears can't be spent hunting and gathering. You can get a fair way by trading pelts and nuts, perhaps, but these are perishables and a really proficient spearmaker will be supplying several hunters, so he will quickly amass more nuts and pelts than he can use. So either he trades them for pots, in which case your forage has now become currency, or some genius will invent a small, durable token that passes in the opposite direction to goods and services - money!

I had an odd experience many years ago, trying to buy fresh fish in Mallaig. No shortage of the stuff about (this was before the EU destroyed the Scottish fishing industry) but it was either pre-purchased by contract from the boat owners, or used as local currency (landladies and publicans were quite happy to take cod and lobsters instead of cash) and nobody was in a position to actually sell the stuff.

By all means publish your busniess accounts on the net. It will help your competitors to undercut you or steal your customers.

However I do have one positive idea in this direction. Give all Members of Parliament a credit card to be used for official business, and publish the monthly accounts. Then leave it to the electorate to decide whether they have been spending our money wisely. Where secrecy is essential, i.e. in foreign travel, the RAF provides a very discreet service that can be lost in the general accounts, but every other expense is open to public scrutiny. 
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1457 on: 15/10/2015 14:08:05 »
Surely Alan, the spears would be directly traded for meat under those circumstances.  The hunter does not have time to make spears, the spear maker had no time to hunt meat.  Is the spear maker a vegetarian in your scenario?  Why would he amass a fortune in pelts he doesn't need, when he is trading his spears mostly for meat?  There are only so many people to hold these spears.  His future is either dependant on making crappy spears, or by making good ones under the premiss that he has long term arrangements in place to be provided with meat.  He's really good at making spears and not so good at catching meat.  It's a fair trade off.  Hunter gathers moved around and could only possess that which they could carry.  Hoarding only started with the advent of farming.

In a society that was geared to get rid of their bit coins before they defunct-ed, the notion of trying to steal another's customers would be null and void.  It would be more a case of trying to off load your customers onto someone else, because you have run out of any personal cause to spend all the money that you are making upon them.

Public public spending accounts?  Well yes, a step in the right direction, I agree!  Can we also have severe penalties (heads on spikes at London Tower perhaps) for those politicians who are caught out in lies, financial or otherwise... please?
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1458 on: 15/10/2015 14:25:03 »
. Why would he amass a fortune in pelts he doesn't need, when he is trading his spears mostly for meat? ...
Because these veggies are smart cookies, his wife has told him that no one wants pelts in summer when there is plenty of meat.  She says that come winter ......
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1459 on: 15/10/2015 17:06:28 »
Timey: you forget that the spearmaker doesn't just want meat. He needs a cooking pot, a firemaking flint - indeed flint knives to make the spears, and a whole lot of trinkets to keep Mrs Spearmaker happy - and if you are going to extend the range of your hunting you will also require the services of a fletcher, bowmaker, arrowsmith, and all the other old English surnames. Once you start farming you will need a whole lot of other tools and services.

Admittedly as a primary producer you can probably trade food for a lot of stuff, but a plough will last you 50 years, whilst 50 years' supply of wheat will be difficult for the blacksmith to store.

I did know a rural doctor who never bought food, but his patients still thought it a good idea that he should have a car, a phone,a stethoscope....and trading chickens for such equipment is not easy, so he always took some money with every bag of spuds. And I have traded scientific instruments for wine, and x-ray film for oranges, but these were pretty big deals that took a long time to organise. I'd prefer the negotiation for a cup of coffee to be fairly short: two minutes of consultancy should cover the time and cost of making a latte, but how many baristas need to design a radiation monitor?

Lead by example. If you want an MRI scan, bring me the carcass of a cow. Please don't tell any other patients because I can only eat one cow per year and I don't have the freezer space for more. But if they can persuade the Ford Motor Company to accept 300 cows, I could do with a new car.
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1460 on: 15/10/2015 17:45:46 »
Well...technically speaking, hunter gatherer Neolithic man did not use pots and pans.  Their nomadic travels took them purposely to flint laden areas, where they just picked them up off the ground.  I daresay that Mrs. Spearmaker would balk at the idea of carrying any goods in her nomadic travels that she did not need.  Her concerns being entirely meat oriented... on both counts (chuckle).  Perhaps a little trinket or two might've been a deal clincher for carrying the flint heads, who knows!

Colin, tut, tut, I'm truly shocked at your suggestion ;) .  Hunter gatherers could not subside themselves as vegetarian.  This being only possible after the advent of farming.

Alan, thank you kindly for your generous offer.  I know where some cows are, so I could rustle one up for you.  On the basis that YouTube can teach me to sew my own leg back on in the field, using only a blade of grass and a hawthorn branch, (not blackthorn, it carries harmful bacteria), I daresay I can learn how to properly prepare the beast as a carcass for you.  It's previous owners will never recognise it!
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1461 on: 15/10/2015 22:55:11 »
Colin, tut, tut, I'm truly shocked at your suggestion ;) .  Hunter gatherers could not subside themselves as vegetarian.  This being only possible after the advent of farming.
Clue is in the name, 'hunter gatherers'. Some were hunters, others gatherers, good division of labour.
What is more interesting is the archeological evidence of specialism, with clear signs that many knapped tools were made by one artisan. As Mr Spearmaker is fully occupied it falls to Mrs S to do the trading and she wisely ensures that the veggie stew contains large lumps of what she claims is textured vegetable protein.

Interesting point Alan. My wife's grandparents were doctors in Lincolnshire and her mother clearly remembers most of their provisions coming from payment in kind.  The wealthier patients provided the cash for car, etc. Telephones were rare but they had a speaking tube from the front door to thier bedroom.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1462 on: 15/10/2015 23:12:49 »
You would be very lucky to find a usefully sharp flint on the ground. Flint knapping was probably one of the first male professions: it's not easy, and a hunter can get through a lot of arrowheads in a day, so division of labour arrived pretty early in the history of hom sap.

I'm begining to worry about the cow. For an MRI scan I need to pay a radiographer, a secretary and a radiologist, plus rent on the premises, interest and dividends to my investors, and about 5 for electricity. So how do I divide the cow between them? The radiographer is a vegetarian, everyone else wants the fillet, and the electricity company is in Scotland so I'll have to offer someone a lot of brisket to drive the popeseye up the A1. (What a sentence!)
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1463 on: 15/10/2015 23:28:32 »
Oh Colin, ;) , truly, I despair of you!!!
The diet of the hunter gatherer consisted of 'both' hunting and gathering.  Surely this is a self explanatory title.  Vegetarians did not exist, except of course when hunt failed...
I reckon that a body permanently injured in a hunt, may well become specialised in producing flint arrow heads and fashioning knives, it would certainly ensure his survival in subsequent trade for meat. :)

Have you heard of LETS?

http://www.letslinkuk.net

Alan, one might pick the flints up off the ground, carry them to camp and knapp them?  Please see paragraph above...

Honestly, don't worry about the cow... They're not that fierce, I think I could take one!  So you want me to chop it up into bits?  How many portions, and which cuts in what bag?  Dear oh me, it's going to take me ages to learn this butchery, it's a good job I'm not desperate for a scan!  :)
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1464 on: 16/10/2015 10:01:20 »
Now you see how sensible it is to have nondecaying money. When you are fit and well, you can save surplus cash, and when you need medical attention you can pay for it without having to ask everyone concerned which bits of a cow they like to eat. And you can pay a professional butcher to cut your meat for you, and he can save up and buy new knives when he needs them. 

Carrying flints to a camp, eh? Sounds as though you have progressed from solo naked hunter-gatherer to some kind of social organisation already. Interestingly, every society evolves from barter to token. My favourites are the Caroline Islands, where they use(d?) a neolithic form of bearer bond, and the Stroud Pound, which began as a LETS scheme with babysitting tokens. Apparently a woman found herself in a butcher's shop one day with a pocketful of tokens but no cash. The butcher paid babysitters 1 per hour (it was long ago!) so he swapped a handful of tokens for meat, and within a few months every selfemployed tradesman was using them as a secondary currency. HMRC was extremely displeased but it re-emerged as a legitimate local currency for a couple of years. 
   
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1465 on: 16/10/2015 16:33:52 »
Ok Alan, so work and resources are translated into coinage.  The only way the system 'works' is for that coinage to be evaluated as to the economic climate, and for 'all' work, and 'all' resources to be paid for 'in line' with that evaluation.  Everybody has the same basic requirements in life, and we all operate within the same remit of our given time scale of a days work.  Ideally, a communist approach might be the way to go.  A man who produces meat works just as hard as a doctor.  Surely they should be equally paid.  If they were equally paid, then the result would be that the 'coinage' keeps flowing. But communism doesn't seem to work!  The human condition denotes that some of us will class ourselves as more equal than others! 
This, as a function of the human condition, cannot be ignored as a symptom of society anymore than a woman's hormonal stirrings to produce children can be ignored in a quest to reduce world population.
So... let's look at this desire to be more equal than another.  Firstly, we must remember that 'coinage' is in fact an amalgamation of 'work' and 'resources'.  In as much as e=mc2, coinage=work&resources.  Hunter gatherers did not possess anything that they could not carry, this very way of life denoted a non hoarding mindset.  But as people settled and farming took hold, we can understand that by the very nature of requiring that grain, seed, etc, must be saved in order to plant next seasons crop, that a mindset of conservation and hoarding of resources will naturally emerge.  When taking this mindset into the world of coinage, we understand that it is natural for a human to plan for his future and to store coinage with regards to this end.  Clearly some people are more capable, more resourceful, and better attuned to this task than others.  This is called Capitalism.  But... when there is a wide division between the value placed on the fact of a days work, and that a large proportion of people are completing a days work that does not provide for their basic needs, we will see that the smaller percentage of the population will possess the greater part of world resources.  Because these resources have been taken out of general circulation, we find the economy stagnating.  The situation is self perpetuating.
Ok, so in recognition of the poor, who are the result - the symptom of this mindset of hoarding, we see the philosophy of Socialism arising.  As decent human beings, we cannot allow our fellow man to starve, therefore we see an attitude of pulling together at grass roots level in a welfare system.  Only trouble is, that the middle classes are paying for it, for reasons explained in previous posts above, that are designed to keep the rich in their elevated position.
In a hunter gatherer situation, a lazy person would be expelled from the group.  As a group species, we experience safety in numbers.  Being part of a group is the ideal.  Any non lazy person, no matter the status of their speciality, they will be accepted by the group, although under the remit of the human condition of alpha omega tendencies, this group will fall into a hierarchy structure.  In the hunter gatherer group, the concept of communism does not apply.  All are not equal.  The concept of capitalism does not apply.  One can only eat what one can eat and carry what one can carry.  The concept of socialism does not apply.  If you can't cut it, ie: make yourself useful, your as good as dead... you've essentially committed suicide.
Now let's transpose our society of today into hunter gatherer terms.  What we will see is a hunter and gatherer hierarchy, hoarding the meat and the berries that the whole group have worked to hunt and collect.  They are divvying up a few cuts of the hoard for the strongest warriors and most useful spear maker.  The rest of the group are left food insecure, while the hierarchy literally throw away the resources excess to their requirements, instructing their warriors and favoured spear maker to deny the main portion of the group access to this food.  Should any of the warriors object to the fact of their starving group members, they will be told that they can feed them from their own share of the hoard.
If we were to happen upon such a group of people, living under a system as such, let's say in an uncharted part of the Amazon, we would find the sensibilities of what we find humanly acceptable severely strained.  We would consider that throwing away food in the face of peoples starvation is the act of individuals who are, at best, mentally ill...!!!

Therefore...:) :) :), we can see that spend by date money would in fact bring us back to our more natural state of the hunter gatherer group.  Spend by date philosophy echoing the hunter gatherer state of only being able to eat what you can eat, and what's the point in being responsible for more tat than you require?  Spend by date recognises that there will be a natural tendency towards a hierarchy system, but regulates hoarding of resources, in that the resources are in constant flux.  That people who have too much money will be too busy spending it to work, leaving the way clear for those out of work to step in and earn some of all this money that is now being constantly spent.  Spend by date recognises that people do not wish to 'carry' the lazy.  If a person can't cut it in any respect at all under these circumstances of what I believe would afford much fairer opportunity, then he'll have to bear the consequences and suffer for it.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1466 on: 16/10/2015 18:01:38 »
I dispute the notion that communism doesn't work. It took Russia and China out of the feudal system and into the 20th century within years, compared with centuries in Britain. Such problems as it nurtured were due to central planning and political ambition being allowed to overrule common sense - exactly what is beginning to happen in the UK nowadays. 

Your choice: a market economy (or a communist state) with the benefits of focussed investment in roads, railways and sewage, or hunter-gatherers walking about in their own sh1t?
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1467 on: 16/10/2015 19:49:01 »
Alright, I accept your observations on communism in China and Russia.  Yes, I agree that communism is an ideal that should work.   However, I personally know that communes don't work, this because the original specifications of the ideal of the commune are subject to change.  Not everyone can agree that these changes are steps in the correct direction, leaders emerge, factions arise, the commune is divided.
Leaders emerging being the key phenomenon.  This being a symptom of the alpha omega tendencies of the human condition.  We must accept that we cannot stop these tendencies occurring, they are part and parcel of our hard wiring as human beings.  Any philosophy of an ideal social structure has to allow for, but also regulate these tendencies.

Of course Alan, it would be impossible to return to the remit of a hunter gatherer society, and who would want to?  But...  as this structure of society is our naturally derived condition, and is the most ideal scenario for our mental well being, we can then learn from the simplicity of its structure and forge a philosophy of social structure for modern society that recognises the balance of the alpha omega human condition and applies measures to allow for the condition, this being on the basis that it is impossible to eliminate it, and also to regulate it, because otherwise we end up in an unbalanced society.

Also, Alan, I must add that, when I have had circumstance to make like a bear in the woods, my tendency is to find spot off main thoroughfare, find tool with which to make hole, and aim said urgency in hole to be covered up before leaving.  Or covered with a stone, log, branch, or whatever comes to hand first, if hole digging is impossible.  I'm quite sure the hunter gatherer groups would have made the same provisions in order not to be stepping in their own sh1t!  As they nomadic ally moved on regularly, and sh1t breaks down in the earth quite quickly, the impact of such deposits on their environment would have been zero.

Transposing this to my experience of a social landlord's antisocial refusal to attend a serious sewage disrepair at my home for 12 years, and my family hopes, dreams and work aspirations, not to mention our sense of smell, now reduced to tatters - a modern day rendition of improved living conditions in relation to sewage has not in fact applied in my case.
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1468 on: 17/10/2015 00:04:20 »
Oh Colin, ;) , truly, I despair of you!!!
The diet of the hunter gatherer consisted of 'both' hunting and gathering.  Surely this is a self explanatory title.  Vegetarians did not exist, except of course when hunt failed...
I reckon that a body permanently injured in a hunt, may well become specialised in producing flint arrow heads and fashioning knives, it would certainly ensure his survival in subsequent trade for meat. :)
I've been thinking about this and I'm not so sure it's that clear cut.
Take modern Chimpanzees who are in a majority gatherers, but some have started to become hunters. Chimps use tools, sticks to tease out termites and hammer/anvil stones to crack nuts. Females tend to be the main tool users and skills are passed parent to child, they also tend to keep a favourite tool they keep nearby (even sea otters are known to have a favourite stone they use to crack shellfish).
By contrast the hunters are not yet using tools in the hunt and not all members of the group hunt.  Groups of 10 chimps will have 100% successful kill, whereas a lone hunter only 30%. Interestingly the meat is not shared amongst the whole troupe, but is eaten by the hunters, although alpha males may share for sexual or political favours, even denying a share to rivals.
In this situation it is easy to imagine that a gatherer might have a hammer stone accidentally break to form a sharp edge which could be used as a knife, scraper or fist axe. Because skills are passed down the family line, along with the favoured  hammer/anvil stones, it is easy to imagine the development of skilled family groups or clans able to make tools. Although simple skills can be picked up by other families by watching/copying, when you talk to people who study stone tool making you realise it is a very skilled trade. Not only is there skill in the knapping process, but also in the selection of suitable stone, often chert, flint or obsidian - often there are sites of suitable stone which show they have been extensively worked. So, we can see it is possible for clans to develop specialising in tool making and controlling not only the skills but also the means of production, the first capitalists. Control by family groups can be seen in the behaviour of Japanese Macaques where it has been noticed that dominant family groups control access to the hot springs in winter.
The earliest stone tools were of the fist hammer, axe type and these were certainly traded over wide areas. Given that the earliest spears were sticks scraped to a point and fire hardened, I think it unlikely that an injured hunter would have become an early spear maker, more likely the spear point came as a by product of the production process, a flake in the spoil pile.
Some anthropologists think the first hunter gather groups were very much like these chimp communities (often described as fusion, fission groups because of their loose connections) and that only later where duties and spoils shared between all group members.

Edit: PS. As an aside, not all hunter gatherers are or were nomadic. There is evidence that early groups were seasonal meat eaters taking advantage of larger prey coming through their territory rather than following. Nomadic behaviour following prey herds appears to be later, and fully developed with moving domesticated animals to seasonal pastures.
« Last Edit: 17/10/2015 00:21:12 by Colin2B »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1469 on: 17/10/2015 00:19:44 »
Quote
[in 1856] Bazalgette's solution (similar to a proposal made by painter John Martin 25 years earlier) was to construct 82 miles (132 km) of underground brick main sewers to intercept sewage outflows, and 1,100 miles (1,800 km) of street sewers, to intercept the raw sewage which up until then flowed freely through the streets and thoroughfares of London.

Interesting to note that inhabitants of the capital of the greatest civilisation on earth, were paddling about in their own sh1t only 150 years ago.

And hardly surprising that Bazalgette's descendants produced "Big Brother". Faeces is the family business. 
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1470 on: 17/10/2015 01:44:01 »
Ok, Colin, I'll stop pulling yer leg... :)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121115141542.htm

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26435-thoroughly-modern-humans-interbred-with-neanderthals/

We can see from the first link that there is evidence that early man was far more advanced, far earlier than has been previously thought... We are talking pre-Neolithic here and pre-dating the advent of post Neolithic by some 480 000 years, this 20 000 years being generous to the advent of settlers and farming.  On the basis that Neolithic man did not use pots and pans 20 000 years ago, and the fact that modern man and Neanderthal man both used stone arrow heads - the find in Africa showing that man was using stone arrow head spears 500 000 years ago, this being well before the date given for the divergence of both species by interbreeding, we can see that the human has been living as groups, or clans, nomadically, chucking stone tipped spears for some half a million years or more, before the advent of farming and settled behaviour.  My point being that we as humans are hard wired in every aspect of our psyche to be attuned to this social structure.  It's our natural state.  My point being that the imbalance that we see in the division of resources in our modern day society would not occur in a hunter gatherer social structure unless the groups leader had gone completely insane, in which case the other group members would smash his head in with a rock while he slept!  A leader who was not taking care of the interests of the group as a whole would be at risk.  Similarly, a person not pulling their weight would be banished.  Therefore, under this structure, and in light of their nomadic nature, we see that despite a hierarchal social structure, there will be no greatly unequal or widening division between the amount of resources available individually within this group.

My point being that, in as much as we can understand that our bodies being hard wired to seek sugar and fat is a symptom of survival based on the dietary availability of our history, there is also something to be learned as to our own phycological and social requirements from studying the social structure of the hunter gatherer lifestyle as a blueprint for a modern day social balance.

A spend by date for money would replicate a hunter gatherer type structure of non hoarding behaviour.

And hardly surprising that Bazalgette's descendants produced "Big Brother". Faeces is the family business.

Lol...I learn something new everyday!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1471 on: 17/10/2015 08:02:39 »
Quote
A spend by date for money would replicate a hunter gatherer type structure of non hoarding behaviour.
But would you want to live in a society where you could not secure your children's future or buy anything on credit? And if you spent every penny as soon as it was earned, how could you stop people "hoarding" the stuff they had just bought?
Will there be a minimum weekly mileage, below which the state repossesses your car?
Must you watch at least 5 hours of television every day?
Is that an unopened bag of rice in your larder, madam?
You have not walked to the end of your garden this week: I hereby confiscate half of your land and 90% of your wardrobe.
This parachute has never been opened: destroy it.
 

Offline timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1472 on: 17/10/2015 12:34:20 »
Hmm, well, I can't say that I had envisaged that type of ultimate control tbh Alan.

For instance, the poor person who invested their original 10 in your company, may have put that investment in their child's name, or have invested for themselves with their old age in mind.  Ok, so there is not going to be that much return on his investment in your company, there are 200 000 +  minority investors to be paid.  However, his other 51 10 extra's p/w that year, he also invested in 51 other company investment offers just like yours!  He, or his designated recipients are now invested and receiving regular payments, which amount to a figure surplus to their weekly basic requirements.  They now have the opportunity to raise their lifestyle from basic requirement, or re-invest.
Because very rich people will be required by spend by date to reduced their savings, and the returns on the investments that they already have are hampering this end, people such as yourselves will 'have' to turn to the poor 'on mass' for blanket funding in order to initiate your proposed projects.
So long as the proposed projects are financially sound and are being initiated due to requirement of necessity due to need, the poor should be elevated by their multiple  small investments in multiple companies.
The beauty of the philosophy is that there would be no rule that said that a rich person could not finance your project, as an individual, and be in receipt of a large return from his investment, it's just that he wouldn't want to, or not for reasons of excessive financial gain anyway.  He may well do so as a charitable act for a minimum return, or invest in the name of his children to secure their future.  However, as an investment for his children's future, it would be, as with a poor man investment, a much safer prospect for him to spread his money over a great number of smaller investments.

So, you see Alan, spend by date would not negate insuring that ones children are taken care of, or that one will be financially secure in ones old age.  It actually gets round inheritance tax, in that you may invest your extra money in your children's, or anyone you likes name.  What this philosophy does is ensure that no coinage ie: resources&work becomes stagnant.  Everything must keep flowing.  The whole idea of credit, borrowing money that doesn't exist except on paper, would be eliminated.  If you wanted to borrow money, you would have to set up a blanket fund project online.  Under the remit of spend by date, a large number of people will be glad to invest in your interest rate on a small scale, and for a small return.  The onus being on their money being in constant flux.  Any project will give people the opportunity to keep their money in flux.   Because all accounting and financial transactions are recorded online, an open and public financial climate will install confidence in the small investor.

Alternatively, a cap on the amount of wealth one person can be in possession of would also work up to a point, but would be a much, much harder structure to implement and police.  Also, it would not give the poor the same opportunity to elevate their own position.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1473 on: 17/10/2015 14:18:09 »
The real problem isn't with people hoarding money, but speculating on commodities. If I buy all next year's wheat production (and it is indeed for sale - that's how farmers raise the capital to pay for seed, fertiliser, contractors.....and it would be a foolish farmer who planted a large crop without having at least a guaranteed minimum sale) I will control the price of bread. We have met your criterion: I don't have any money in the bank, and even the farmers will be spending it before it goes out of date, but in a year's time I will have the sole right to decide who eats, and how much they pay for their food. If I were the EU, I could even decide to burn it, just to keep the price up (it's called "intervention by denaturing" and is part of the Criminal Agricultural Policy of the European Union).

The Bunker Hunt brothers thought they were on to a good thing in the 1970s. They realised that half of the world's silver production was used for making x-ray film. Now the market for silver cutlery and trinkets is fairly elastic - nobody actually needs the stuff - but modern medicine relies on x-rays. So they set about buying every gram of silver they could find: old jewellery, scrap film, ingots and futures, knowing that within 5 years they would control the world price of an essential commmodity. Yes, they were spending money and their investors' money as fast as they could raise it, so would have been Good Citizens in your book, but were clearly bent on world domination and usury. Fortunately, film chemists caught wind of what was going on and reformulated x-ray film to the point that it now contains so little silver that it isn't worth recycling, and the brothers lost a lot of money. But there is no substitute for rice.

Back to the farm. I buy a bit of contaminated land, strip it and work it into a productive farm. The value has increased from 100,000 to 10,000,000, which is above my wealth cap so you are going to confiscate some of it and give it to a Party official. Not the society I want to live in, thanks.
« Last Edit: 17/10/2015 14:29:34 by alancalverd »
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1474 on: 17/10/2015 14:22:39 »
Ok, Colin, I'll stop pulling yer leg... :)
No need, I find humour often acts as a catalyst for new thoughts, ideas.

We can see from the first link that there is evidence that early man was far more advanced, far earlier than has been previously thought... We are talking pre-Neolithic here and pre-dating the advent of post Neolithic by some 480 000 years,
The point I was trying to make is that there is a huge time span for these developments and a wide range of options and behaviours. Earliest stone tools 2.6m yrs ago http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/tools/early-tools
which leaves a long time until pre-Neolithic.
During this time we would see a mix of gathers only, gatherers + some hunters, and more uniform hunter/gatherer. But tools were well advanced and probably specialised well before arrow and spear tips were developed.


My point being that we as humans are hard wired in every aspect of our psyche to be attuned to this social structure.  It's our natural state.  My point being that the imbalance that we see in the division of resources in our modern day society would not occur in a hunter gatherer social structure unless the groups leader had gone completely insane, in which case the other group members would smash his head in with a rock while he slept!  A leader who was not taking care of the interests of the group as a whole would be at risk.
I think it is easy to idealise these early societies, but I'm not convinced they were much different to present day.
If we look at the chimp hunter gatherer group, there is a big incentive for the alpha to hold onto and control the meat resource as it gives a big advantage. Any challenge to his authority is usually in the open, so everyone can see how powerful the challenger is, and usually results in swapping one despot for another. The leader doesn't have to take care of the interests of the whole group, only sufficient number to ensure support, the rest are kept in their place by threats or favours. This situation is little different to modern revolutions, and I doubt it was much different in early societies.

Therefore, under this structure, and in light of their nomadic nature, we see that despite a hierarchal social structure, there will be no greatly unequal or widening division between the amount of resources available individually within this group.
Archeologist would disagree with you. There is a lot of evidence for very wealthy ruling group with lots of bling, and a mass of poorer workers who benefit from the protection of the powerful.
Like the chimps, leaders retain control by using a favoured in-crowd and controlling resources while offering protection from the even greater threat outside - at least that's what they tell everyone and they soon hire priests to reinforce the message that the leader is a god, and evil ghosts inhabit the rest of the world.

Sorry, there seem to be 2 threads running in this so I'll leave it at that.
 

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1474 on: 17/10/2015 14:22:39 »

 

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