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Author Topic: An essay in futility, too long to read :)  (Read 279546 times)

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1475 on: 17/10/2015 17:41:19 »
Ok, looking at your huge time scale of 2.6 million years ago, in relation to the fact of a Neolithic man of only 20 000 years ago... On the basis that the Neolithic was a hunter gatherer, nomadic man, who still was not cooking with pots and pans, we can see that 'hoarding' behaviour cannot of been inherent to the human until the advent of farming.  There was no need.  Sure, a group might of dried any excess meat, fruits, etc and carried them away, or even constructed stone caches for storing supplies to come back and open up to subside them in less fruitful times, such as winter.  My point with you being that a hunter gatherer could not have been a vegetarian.  His diet would have to have included meat to provide him with the fat his body needs to survive.  Seasonal nuts would not subside his bodily needs alone.  Fatty and sugary foods being an essential requirement in his diet, but not so abundantly found in constant supply.  Hunter gathers ate meat!  There's no doubt about it Colin!
Ok, social structures.  You are equating a hunter gatherer's society with that of chimps observed in action in today's modern world.  So...a) Chimp behaviour today is marred by human encroachment upon their territory, so cannot be used to analogise a social structure of the behaviour of either chimps, or hunter gatherers, who are of an era where-as the concept of land ownership had not yet arisen.
And b) alpha omega tendencies in a group of chimps is a mating based phenomenon, whereas the alpha males role is subject to change.  He will only be alpha male for the duration of his physical superiority.  Similarly, a wolf pack will consist of 1 breeding pair, the alpha male and the alpha female.  These roles are subject to change.  An omega female could become alpha female overnight, on the defeat of the current alpha male by a challenge to his position from another male.
I imagine that within a hunter gatherer group, much the same type of dynamics may have arisen.  However, a leader who led his people well and prosperously, would stand more chance of survival as a leader, than a leader who did not.  That is just common sense!  Please remember that a group was not 'bound' to stay together by anything other than mutual interest.  Alone they are vulnerable, together they are strong.  If a leader denied a proportion of the group, leaving them food insecure within the group, these people would leave and form a group of their own.  This being possible because in the hunter gatherer society, no part of the land was owned.  A man was free to hunt and gather.  Why throw your lot in with some a - hole who denies you the food that you have contributed to collecting?
In modern day society, I am not free to hunt and gather.  I am, by law, not permitted to rustle up a cow for Alan to pay for my scan, nor hunt wild game.  I am not permitted to move across the land, pitch camp and subside myself from the orchards and field produce of our countryside.  I have been told that I am a free person, but my rights to hunt and gather food, to make my home upon the land, these rights that should be my birth right, as they are the birth right of all animals, are denied to me.  The advent of my birth denotes me as a slave to my society.  I must conduct myself into work, to earn money, to pay for a roof and food, even water!  A working week that far outweighs the effort it would take to feed and house my own self from the land.  It beggars belief really!
To add insult to injury, I am expected to work the same hours as another for much less money.  This means that I cannot afford to subside myself and my family adequately, mostly because my rent for my roof is eating up the majority of my earnings.
I'm quite sure Colin, that a hunter gatherer social structure may well be subject to much alpha omega behaviour, but I severely doubt that members of any group were starved while food was thrown away.
Modern day society is guilty of just this very act.  Prices are deliberately inflated by creating purposeful shortage, in order that a body, who probably already has accumulated more wealth than his family and himself could use in a hundred lifetimes can add a little more profit to his spreadsheet.  In modern day society, the alpha male/female's position is not subject to change. This being purely because of the aspect of financial security due to hoarding.  Therefore the omega role is also not subject to change, and we will observe the imbalance in the division of resources further widen as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  Just like we observe!

Humour?  Cool Colin - I think it important to keep it light.  Having a bit of a larf is essential...
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1476 on: 18/10/2015 00:06:08 »
..Chimp behaviour today is marred by human encroachment upon their territory..
Apparently not in this case which is what is exciting anthropologists and causing a reexamination of the possible role of alpha groups in some early hunter/gatherers. What is obvious is that a one cap fits all approach is unlikely, with many different systems operating at once.
Take Neanderthals, often seen as nomadic in small family groups. The excavations of caves in northern Jersey (not at that time an island) show settled groups, who used fire, buried their dead and placed grave offerings. Over 250,000 stone tools were found on one site along with piles of animal bones. They deliberately travelled 12 miles to collect the best stone for tools. Yet it is clear that not all Neanderthal lived like this.
Because of such large variations in behaviour and social structures it is very difficult to make forward projections of what might have driven the development present day behaviours, or to say with certainty that early groups behaved only in one proscribed way.
Did they have a sense of humour? Wouldn't be human if they didn't.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1477 on: 18/10/2015 08:59:38 »
Quote
On the basis that the Neolithic was a hunter gatherer, nomadic man, who still was not cooking with pots and pans, we can see that 'hoarding' behaviour cannot of been inherent to the human until the advent of farming.  There was no need.
Tell that to the Inuit.

Quote
I am, by law, not permitted to rustle up a cow for Alan to pay for my scan, nor hunt wild game.
Cows are private property, but right now there are people shooting and fishing for wild game just across the road from here.

Quote
I am not permitted to move across the land, pitch camp and subside myself from the orchards and field produce of our countryside.
You have substantial rights of way and nobody will stop you foraging in public moors and woods. People will object if you steal or damage cultivated crops. Your rights are even broader in Scandinavia where the legal presumption is that the land belongs to everyone.
Quote
The Right of Public Access, or Allemansrätt, allows you to roam freely throughout the Swedish countryside, even on private land. The only condition is that you take care of nature and show consideration to the landowners and other people enjoying the nature.

You don't have to conform to the wage slave norm. Plenty of people in Britain are homeless foragers, some by choice. But that's the point: most of us choose to live under a roof, with possessions that don't get used every day and money that may come in handy sometime.

I offered, a few posts ago, to relieve you of any surplus cash under your "spend by" scheme, but you haven't shown me a penny yet. Now if I design or repair any kind of machine, convention is that I have to make the first flight in it. Far be it from me to accuse a friend of cowardice, but your apparent reluctance to give away old money, eat rats, and sleep under the stars, does suggest that you haven't quite convinced yourself of the argument for repairing society.
« Last Edit: 18/10/2015 09:24:13 by alancalverd »
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1478 on: 18/10/2015 14:26:11 »

Did they have a sense of humour? Wouldn't be human if they didn't.

Our most redeeming quality. :)

Quote
On the basis that the Neolithic was a hunter gatherer, nomadic man, who still was not cooking with pots and pans, we can see that 'hoarding' behaviour cannot of been inherent to the human until the advent of farming.  There was no need.
Tell that to the Inuit.
I'm quite certain that the Inuit were forced into their current region more recently by more aggressive groups. Neolithic Inuit would have lived further South in warmer climes.

Quote
I am, by law, not permitted to rustle up a cow for Alan to pay for my scan, nor hunt wild game.
Cows are private property, but right now there are people shooting and fishing for wild game just across the road from here.

Under fishing or gaming licence, or with permission from private land owner...only!  I heard a great story about a Chinese man caught leaving Finsbury Park clutching a goose in his arm one Christmas.  They asked him what he was doing.  He said he was just giving it a cuddle!

Quote
I am not permitted to move across the land, pitch camp and subside myself from the orchards and field produce of our countryside.
You have substantial rights of way and nobody will stop you foraging in public moors and woods. People will object if you steal or damage cultivated crops. Your rights are even broader in Scandinavia where the legal presumption is that the land belongs to everyone.  The Right of Public Access, or Allemansrätt, allows you to roam freely throughout the Swedish countryside, even on private land. The only condition is that you take care of nature and show consideration to the landowners and other people enjoying the nature.

There is also a right to roam policy under the same remit in Scotland.  But as to removing produce from common woods and moorlands, you are quite wrong.  People are tolerated in picking wild berries, mushrooms and apples in season, but if I were to start cutting hazel for making baskets and wreaths to sell, removing large tracts of moss for decoration and cropping wild flowers to press.  Making ornamental flowers out of elderflower branch hearts and dying them with dandelion juice...shooting down small native birds to decorate the hamstrings of a red deer I single handedly drove into a pit I'd dug earlier, lined with sharpened willow branches, etc, etc, this would not be permitted.  I would be told, on the basis that if everybody did these things, there would be no common woods, or moorland beauty to behold, that I was in fact breaking the conservation laws.

You don't have to conform to the wage slave norm. Plenty of people in Britain are homeless foragers, some by choice. But that's the point: most of us choose to live under a roof, with possessions that don't get used every day and money that may come in handy sometime.
I offered, a few posts ago, to relieve you of any surplus cash under your "spend by" scheme, but you haven't shown me a penny yet. Now if I design or repair any kind of machine, convention is that I have to make the first flight in it. Far be it from me to accuse a friend of cowardice, but your apparent reluctance to give away old money, eat rats, and sleep under the stars, does suggest that you haven't quite convinced yourself of the argument for repairing society.

Lol... :)  But of course you are quite right!  I actually have no money old or new at all at the mo.  I think I'm kind of good for this week, but I haven't got a clue what next week will be like.  It's quite exciting I suppose, I don't know what will happen, all I know is that something will and I'll make the best of it as it unfolds.  On the basis of a future that is uncertain, I live my life of today without constraint.  If I have money in my pocket for steak, and I want steak, I'll damn well have it.  Tomorrow being just a projection of my self awareness, not an actual reality of today.  Having said this, you are quite right about my hypocrisy, because next time I find my situation on the up, my philosophy of being directly involved in helping my 'friends', as I have done in the past, is dead and gone.  Experience tells me this is not a two way street and that I shouldn't bother.  Perhaps at long last I might just have learned the distinction between 'family members' and 'others'.  Save myself a lot of grief!

I personally think that spend by date philosophy is an entirely logical solution to the phenomenon of hoarding we observe of the human.  However, our discussion concerning the matter is illogical because it will never happen.  All spend by date does really is take the money out of the control of the banks.  They'd never allow it.  End of story!
But... Be this as it may, we should not lie to ourselves and fall into a sense of superiority when we find ourselves in a position of elevated wealth.  We must take on board the fact that we are but lucky, and those poorer than us are but less fortunate only, and are dealing with their choices as their environment and the capacity of their intelligence denotes them.  Any feelings of resentment regarding the welfare system should be placed at the feet of the very rich, not the very poor.

Anyway, yor-on, we have been right round the houses here with this one... but, in a world that is inherent of people holding onto resources that they might, or might not need in the future, we will see the evidence of a huge oil company saying one thing in public and doing the exact opposite behind closed doors.  Until the human condition of hoarding is addressed, until consumerism is viewed as a medical condition of compulsion, what hope of reducing emissions and 'perhaps' stemming the onslaught of the phenomenon of global warming?
« Last Edit: 18/10/2015 14:34:43 by timey »
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1479 on: 18/10/2015 18:57:35 »
... Until the human condition of hoarding is addressed, ....
Oh dear, does that include the stack of 'it will be really useful one day' wood blocking the end of my workshop? Not today's problem.

On a lighter note. Our children decided I was getting lazy, no more real bread, just fill up the bread maker. So for my birthday they bought me a sourdough bread making course. At the end of the day I had learnt a lot more than is on most recipe sites, but had more bread than we could eat. Thank goodness for that freezer.





 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1480 on: 18/10/2015 19:48:47 »
Oh shame, shame, shame on you Colin, with your stock piles of wood and bread mountain... but really I think the scale of Imelda Marcos's shoe collection is more in the region of my complaint!
« Last Edit: 18/10/2015 19:51:28 by timey »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1481 on: 18/10/2015 22:41:00 »
if I were to start cutting hazel for making baskets and wreaths to sell, removing large tracts of moss for decoration and cropping wild flowers to press.  Making ornamental flowers out of elderflower branch hearts and dying them with dandelion juice...shooting down small native birds to decorate the hamstrings of a red deer I single handedly drove into a pit I'd dug earlier, lined with sharpened willow branches, etc, etc, this would not be permitted.  I would be told, on the basis that if everybody did these things, there would be no common woods, or moorland beauty to behold, that I was in fact breaking the conservation laws.

And you would hate yourself for being a capitalist (selling, indeed!) and hoarding (pressed flowers). Not sure about red deer but muntjack are vermin and can generally be shot without a game licence, though they don't taste as good. Anyway you couldn't eat a red deer at one sitting, so you'd be into hoarding again.
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1482 on: 18/10/2015 23:17:12 »
Ok Alan, clearly you and Colin both, haven't really taken on board the key word here being 'balance'.

Now then, I know this is going to strain you both immensely, but please, really, it will only take a mo... So, imagine a 12 inch ruler.  In the middle of this ruler please identify the middle 6 inches... 3 and 9 will be your outside markers.  The people living on a scale between 3 and 9 will have adequate wood piles, freezers full of bread and savings in the bank.  There will be a distinction between the size of a 3 scale woodpile/freezer/savings and the greater size of a 9 scale woodpile/freezer/savings.  Under 3 scale we might see evidence of some wood, some bread, no savings, down to a 1 scale of cold and starving.  Upwards of 9 scale we see increased  woodpile/freezer/savings up to a 12 scale of woodpiles and freezers full of bread stretching off endlessly into the horizon, and savings that dominate world policy.
I'm saying that the 9 scale upward need to redistribute wealth to the 3 scale downward in order that we all live by a 6 inch ruler, not a 12 inch ruler.
Now I know how you's two's are renowned for having a bit of trouble with such complex concepts as these, but I'm hoping my attitude of sanguine will not be proved as in vain... ;)
« Last Edit: 18/10/2015 23:19:16 by timey »
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1483 on: 19/10/2015 00:12:20 »
Now I know how you's two's are renowned for having a bit of trouble with such complex concepts as these, ...
Umm, what's that in metric?

PS You really haven't seen the size of this wood pile
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1484 on: 19/10/2015 00:24:34 »
Now I know how you's two's are renowned for having a bit of trouble with such complex concepts as these, ...
Umm, what's that in metric?

Sorry, couldn't say, but it is a fraction of a Megalithic yard!  Hope that helps...

PS You really haven't seen the size of this wood pile

Ah, Is that outright boasting, or inverted snobbery?  Its just that I need a perspective you see...
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1485 on: 19/10/2015 00:39:57 »
But if you look at a histogram of incomes you will see that it is far from symmetrical. There is no real upper limit but

https://basicmathsuccess.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/us-income-distribution-graphic-1-iqr.jpg?w=640&h=525

shows that practically everybody is in your "0 to 4 inch" bracket. Now if you take all the money from the top 4% (with household incomes exceeding $200k) and redistribute it to everyone else, it will shift the distribution fractionally to the right but won't alter the underlying shape of the graph. Be sure that if wages rise, prices will rise to match, so the number of people classified as poor won't change.

A histogram of wealth would be a lot more difficult to compile as the parameter is poorly defined, but you might consider acreage of land as an indicator. Again this would be hugely skewed, with vast numbers of people owning little or no land. But does that matter? What would a doctor or a bank clerk do with 100 acres? Large farms are more efficient than small ones, and large urban landowners tend to build flats, shops, offices etc on it for rent - is that a Bad Thing?
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1486 on: 19/10/2015 03:08:45 »
Alan, I thought we had already established that the scale of wage incomes cannot be used alone to ascertain wealth distribution.

Have you heard of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report?

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/oct/14/richest-1percent-half-global-wealth-credit-suisse-report

I rest my case...
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1487 on: 19/10/2015 14:32:09 »
Quote
According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report (pdf), a person needs just $3,650 – including the value of equity in their home – to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.

So what exactly is your case? What harm are the wealthiest doing to the rest of us? Presumably they achieved their wealth either through inheritance (so can't be blamed for it) or through legal trade (so it's our fault for buying their products), by theft, in which case the law will gradually dispossess them, or by conquest, in which case you can seize it by force if you can and want to.

So now it's up to you to draw a line at the maximum allowable wealth*, then tell us how you would redistribute it and what difference it would make, to whom.  Remember the Bunker Hunt story: diamonds and paintings have very little intrinsic value but are used as currency by those who are too wealthy to mess about with taxable cash, so seizing luxury assets won't feed the poor.

I envy the guys who own $1,000,000 private planes, but even a workaday asset like that can't be redistributed - there's only room for one qualified pilot (most of whom already have perfectly satisfactory jobs, thanks, without the headaches of owning the plane) and 5 passengers.

Redistribute a farm? It's been a disaster throughout Africa and you only need half a dozen guys to work 10,000 acres in the UK, where food is perfectly affordable: if it was owned by 10,000 people, who would tell the 6 blokes what to sow and when to reap? Obviously not a referendum, so what benefit would accrue from putting a civil servant (or worse still, a politician) in charge of Home Farm, Ambridge?

Public ownwership of the means of production? Well yes, for a few basic industries, but with millions of SMEs in the UK, what sort of government overhead will be required to operate every microbrewery and marmalade factory (we don't actually make anything else in Britain these days)? And you still aren't redistributing wealth because no factory is worth a penny if it isn't selling its products, and nearly all the potential customers are in the lower quartile of income, so can't afford to buy any more anyway.

*making sure, of course, that it is well above your own net asset value
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1488 on: 19/10/2015 22:50:26 »
I repeat, if we came across an undiscovered tribe of people, whereas the most powerful person in this group denied the greater majority of his people the means to feed and house themselves sufficiently, while throwing food produce away - we would say that individual was mentally ill.  Bat sh1t crazy is the term that comes to my mind!

85 people own 48.2% of the worlds wealth.  At the other end of the scale 3.5 billion of the poorest people possess the same amount of wealth between them all, as these 85 people's wealth amounts to combined!

Are we under the influence of 'social normalisation' here?  Or are we suffering from some type of Stanley Milgram 'obedience to authority' scenario?  Because we are told that it's all ok, nothing to see here, sorry, but it can't be helped, collateral damage, etc, etc, etc, that we carry on regardless, despite our better judgement?  That we relinquish personal responsibility in the face of our interpreted situation of a lack of control?

Having already explained the remit of spend by date and how it wouldn't matter that the rich inflated their paintings value, as they would no longer wish to borrow money from the bank using the painting as collateral to fund a project for profit.  They would not actually have the time in the day to spend all the money they already have and are receiving before it defunct-ed, and any more income would be undesirable! (can you imagine, a spend by day in the life of a super rich person, shown in fast forward, lol, lol, lol... talk about hard work!)
The beauty of spend by date philosophy is that apart from not imposing any other extra rule on any person other than a spend by date on all money - rich people can keep their planes and big houses, land, investments, etc - however, a spend by date for money would, in time, perpetuate a psychological change in current human attitude and desire.  People would be forced to re-evaluate what was important to them.

Now Alan, (chuckle) ...you might of asked me if I am making a case for these 85 individuals who possess 48.2% of the world wealth being classed as mentally ill...  Which I would have, (with all due respect), refused to answer on the grounds that I do not wish to martyr myself! ... and said "Hows about a joke?"

How many rich people does it take to change a lightbulb?

None.  All 85 of them are happy with the one we've got!

Change of subject perhaps?  :D

Does anyone know anything about penguin genetics?
« Last Edit: 19/10/2015 23:05:05 by timey »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1489 on: 19/10/2015 23:27:24 »
Quote
I repeat, if we came across an undiscovered tribe of people, whereas the most powerful person in this group denied the greater majority of his people the means to feed and house themselves sufficiently, while throwing food produce away - we would say that individual was mentally ill.  Bat sh1t crazy is the term that comes to my mind!

I wouldn't call the European Union "undiscovered". Evil and incompetent, perhaps. But there are actually people who vote in favour of the Criminal Agricultural Policy and compulsory sell-by dates.

Wealth is not income. Making money evaporate only prevents those who don't have property from ever acquiring any.  That's the problem with inflation: it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer, and evaporating money is exactly like hyperinflation. Your "solution" would exacerbate  what you see as a problem. Perhaps you should be an EU commissioner.

So what's the deal with penguins?
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1490 on: 20/10/2015 00:06:14 »
Why would you think that spend by date evaporates money?  That would be magic.  It would evaporate banks and borrowing money that doesn't exist off the back of further money that doesn't exist.  The 'money', actual money itself, would not evaporate, it would merely change hands at an accelerated rate!  And... this money would be reflective of the true resources of the world, and therefore be immune to the phenomenon of inflation and recession that appear to me to be controlled by the policy of banks.
However, on account of my own current circumstances, perhaps we may deduce that economics is not really my strong point. (chuckle) ...but if money changes hands at an accelerated rate, surely this would be beneficial?  A recession is exacerbated by people not spending.  An economy benefits from commerce.  Isn't inflation a symptom of an increase in prices?  Why would anyone need to increase the price of anything when the onus is on having to spend all of your own money.  Unless you needed something extra, why have the extra money?  It will only complicate matters as you will have to find a way to spend it.  So long as you were invested in projects that keep your money in flux, paying you returns, you are future secure.  A bit like having money in the bank, except it pays you your returns as a shareholder.

I'm really not sure that you are grasping the potential here Alan. ;)
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1491 on: 20/10/2015 09:22:55 »
.....  Why would anyone need to increase the price of anything when the onus is on having to spend all of your own money.
It's not a question of needing to but one of economics. If a trader knows people have to spend and there is a time limit, then they know people will get desperate to buy and they can increase and hold prices high. You also distort prices as anything that can be stored and used later - dried goods, rice, flour, tinned goods etc - will increase in price. Those goods can then be bartered later, but you haven't created a barter system just an alternative for money.
It is always interesting to look at what happens in economies under pressure eg Germany and rapid inflation where cigarettes and returnable bottles became units of currency. I was offered sweets as small change in Italy when their currency was under pressure.
Economics isn't just about money.

Anyway, more important items, what's with the Penguins?
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1492 on: 20/10/2015 12:10:45 »
Ok Colin.  Let's look at an economy under pressure.  Under pressure being the operative word.  Prices are generally forced up by a 'shortage' of goods, or by a 'stockpiling and controlled release' of goods, or by 'political pressure' from neighbouring countries, 'war',, or 'sanctions'.
How would spend by date put an economy under pressure?
Furthermore, spend by date would denote that any extra monies earned by putting prices up, would also have to be spent by spend by date rules.  An equilibrium will occur.  A paradigm shift of human attitude.  The onus will no longer be oriented to hoarding resources.  Any money that one has left over beyond ones daily requirement can be invested in projects that will, by spend by date rules, have to pay one ones returns regularly and therefore secure ones future.  What we will see is an outbreak of new projects.  People who have a lot of money may invest in cutting edge projects that might not get a look in in today's current financial climate, not because they aren't worth while projects, but because they are not financially secured investments.  All kinds of amazing research might forge ahead!  People who are already invested enough to cover their daily living comfortably may decide that they wish to work less or not at-all, leaving the way open for people who have no money or job to now be employed.  Employers will be glad to pay their workers a fair wage.  Any extra money they might skim off by paying minimum wages, they would be forced to spend.
I think what both you and Alan fail to realise is that this philosophy of spend by date would change the whole psychology of our financial drive.  We will no longer feel as though we must compete to survive.  We can feel secure in that 'at present', the world can produce enough food to feed us all.  Between us, there are enough people to share the work of producing the food and the goods that we will require to live comfortably, and if we all shared the work, this being the work required to produce that which we require, we would all be required to work a lot less hours than most of us currently do.  We would become a people of arts, crafts, music, and innovative technology, as we find ourselves with more free time to dedicate to our personal development, interests and intellect!
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1493 on: 20/10/2015 17:33:24 »
Back to the Bunker Hunts. If you have more income than you need, and  you can spot an essential, nonperishable commodity that has limited availability, you can buy more than you need and hoard it. The poor buggers whose income doesn't extend to hoarding are then at your mercy - the more so because if they attempt to save money rather than goods, it will disappear.

There's nothing morally wrong with the concept of banks. In principle they take money from people who don't need it immediately and lend it to people who do - no problem with that. There may be a tiny risk involved in depositing, so they offer interest on deposits and charge a slightly higher rate of interest on loans. So far so good, and your traditional high street bank manager is paid to know his business and mortgage customers well enough to balance the risks. Where it all goes to hell is lending money to people who can't repay it, secured on an unresellable asset, then hiding the duff loans in a big bundle that you sell on to another bank. So offering 100% mortgages to a whole street of unemployed people may look like an act of charity, but you are actually giving away the depositors' money because when the first guy defaults  and you call in the mortgage, all the property values in the street collapse and the assets are worthless. You can still buy houses for $1 (plus lawyers' fees) in Detroit.     

Interestingly (to me at least) my obsession with population control has an effect here too. Way back in the 1950s, lots of people rented houses in the UK. If a couple wanted to buy a house, the maximum mortgage was usually 2.5 times the man's salary plus 0.5 times the woman's. There was a shortage of housing thanks to war damage and a baby boom, so prices were limited only by mortgage availability. In the early 60's, oral contraception suddenly meant that a couple could realistically make financial commitments based on 2.5 times joint salaries over several years, but there were no more houses for sale, so the price simply increased by twice the average woman's salary, in the space of about 5 years. This meant that anyone who already owned a house or had paid off part of a mortgage, suddenly had an asset that was, for the time being, appreciating faster than the cost of maintaining it, so home ownership and speculative buying became the fashion, and as a result one third of the UK GDP now consists of buying and selling second-hand houses. Problem is that this fervent economic activity doesn't generate anything useful and the physical assets are of course deteriorating, so the country is flushing itself down the toilet, to whoops of joy from politicians who point out that the housing market is booming, so everything must be Good!

End of rant. But do tell us about the penguins.     
 

Online timey

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1494 on: 20/10/2015 18:26:32 »
In a world where food grows, goods are produced, you are invested sufficiently in projects, and you have the choice to work for a wage, my point being WHY!  Why would you want to hoard non perishable goods?  Surely there is a financial connection between the fact of 85 people owning between them  48.2% of the worlds wealth, and 3.5 billion people at the poor end of the scale owning between them all, the same amount in wealth as these 85 people own.  The world only has so many resources, and if just a few people have the majority of these resources, then we will see what we observe.  Poor people working long hours for wages that are not sufficient to economic requirement and slowly being starved out of the game.
Why would anyone be so 'insecure' that they would hoard enough resources to support their families and their own inflated lifestyles for a hundred lifetimes.  The true cost of this means that someone else is starved.
Sorry, it don't make sense!  If an individual starved another to death, we would say that individual was criminally insane !!!  In our current society, we kiss these peoples *rses, and try to hoard as much as we can ourselves, so that we in turn may feel ourselves as secure.
The irony is, that it is by our very own insecurities in this field that we are perpetuating the pollution and global warming of our environment.  Therefore, we can observe that it is by our very own desire to hoard as such for the future, that we shall ultimately negate the possibility of us actually having a future.  Yes, sure... one might have stored up enough resources to take care of their children's future, but the planet itself can only provide resources to support our present.  If we are going to expect the planet to support our future, we can only make demands of it for the resources that we require for the present.  To ask the planet to produce everything 'now' that we are going to need for a hundred lifetimes, of course the planet cannot do this.  Therefore this means that for one person to be secure in their requirements for 100 lifetimes 'now', that a couple hundred thousand people must be rendered as food insecure today!!!

Anyway, back to the penguins for me, I think!  It's been fun guys, but yor-on has deserted us, and I think I've done it to death now. :)
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1495 on: 21/10/2015 00:13:17 »
I think you will find that Alan & I agree with you about the problems more than you think, but we might not agree that a certain solution would work. Anything you do to change the way people view and use money will affect the economy. The whole thing is more like an ecology, change one thing and you might get rid of one problem but create a niche for something else. From corn tax, window tax, communism, free market economy, food mountains etc, everyone fails to find a perfect system. It doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but we shouldn't fall into the politicians trap of top level thinking rather than detailed analysis of consequences. For me, political thinking was summed up when Margaret Thatcher apologised for soaring interest rates saying she had no idea that would happen. Too late by then, I knew people who had lost their homes. If I had made an error, even smaller than that, at work I would have lost my job.
There will always be people who will load refugees into a ship knowing there is a high likelihood the ship will sink, there will be people who starve others to death, sell worthless bonds etc, but I don't class them as criminally insane, just criminal.
Unfortunately, judging by TV ratings, I'm not convinced many people care.
Nice to know someone else does.

Now, about those penguins!
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1496 on: 31/10/2015 07:47:33 »
(Edit: We are the apex predator, our only enemies being natural disaster and ourselves!) On the brighter side, when considering the universe as a system of particles in a flux of displacement, maybe we can take some comfort in the fact that we consist of matter that is in a state of constant recycle.  In this respect and from this perspective, we are in fact just a part of a greater whole in which our ongoing existence is relative and subject to change.

Maybe :)

Whatever point I'm trying to make, to me it comes out as 'ethics'. One doesn't need empathy to make a good decision if one have a sense of fairness, well, as a suggestion at least? But fairness always seem to come from down under, never from above. For example young ones are sticklers for fairness, but look at what happens as we grow up :)

And yes, you can see it as a cosmic game in where nothing really matters, neither us nor anything else. But that's the opposite of ethics, because ethics presume that some things are more worthwhile than others.
« Last Edit: 31/10/2015 07:54:19 by yor_on »
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1497 on: 31/10/2015 08:11:57 »
Eh, and no Timey, not deserted, just been otherwise occupied for some time. Had some interesting idea about 'c' and 'time' that I'm still trying to remember, interesting to me naturally :)
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1498 on: 31/10/2015 08:21:46 »
.... young ones are sticklers for fairness, but look at what happens as we grow up :)
They also have an interesting view on ownership, "I got it first, its mine". But perhaps we don't grow out of that one
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1499 on: 31/10/2015 08:33:50 »
Let's see if I can reason it back? And bear with me on this one.

'c' and 'time' goes hand in glove to me. Looking at it my way 'c' is a clock, and clocks are what describes time best. so 'c' equals 'time'.It's also so that if you use light as a clock, you will want to break it down into some smallest 'chunks' of time, and there I suspect 'photons' to become a limit, for us measuring. But light is a duality, depending on how you measure. Is it a flow or is it 'fraction-able'? If we assume 'c' to be fraction able, and I do that using it as a measure/description of time (clock)? It's not really about a two way mirror experiment any more, to me. It's 'c' as a 'clock' and to me that relates to quantum mechanics as it becomes about the 'really small'. No longer about measuring a 'speed', because if the equivalence is there between 'c' and a 'clock', then that becomes a stepping stone to me, from where one can wonder about 'time' and 'patterns', using quantum mechanics. Both are very local definitions, and looked at my way, must hold everywhere. And that's what I was thinking, but I still don't remember the idea I got from it :) I will blame that on galloping senility.
==

And yes Colin, as you say, that one we don't seem to grow up from :)
 

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Re: An essay in futility, too long to read :)
« Reply #1499 on: 31/10/2015 08:33:50 »

 

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