An essay in futility, too long to read :)

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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.
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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!

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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.
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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 »

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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!   
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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?

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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. 
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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?

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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 ......
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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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.
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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!

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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.
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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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!)
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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!  :)

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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. 
   
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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.

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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?
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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.

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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 »
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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. 
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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!

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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.
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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.

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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 »
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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.
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
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Offline 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...

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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.
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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 »
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Offline 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 »

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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.





and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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Offline 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 »

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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.
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Offline 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 »

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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
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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Offline 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...

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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?
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Offline 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...

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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
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Offline 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 »

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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?
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Offline 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. ;)

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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?
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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Offline 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!

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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.     
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Offline 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. :)

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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!
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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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 »
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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 :)
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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
and the misguided shall lead the gullible,
the feebleminded have inherited the earth.

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