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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday August 30, @07:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the must-read dept.

An Indian site, YourStory, has an unusually broad ranging interview with Richard Stallman. While much of the background and goals will already be familiar to SN readers, the interview is interesting not only for its scope but also that India is starting to take an interest in these matters.

To know Richard Stallman is to know the true meaning of freedom. He's the man behind the GNU project and the free software movement, and the subject of our Techie Tuesdays this week.

This is not a usual story. After multiple attempts to get in touch for an interaction with Richard Stallman, I got a response which prepared me well for what's coming next. I'm sharing the same with you to prepare you for what's coming next.

I'm willing to do the interview — if you can put yourself into philosophical and political mindset that is totally different from the one that the other articles are rooted in.

The general mindset of your articles is to admire success. Both business success, and engineering success. My values disagree fundamentally with that. In my view, proprietary software is an injustice; it is wrongdoing. People should be _ashamed_ of making proprietary software, _especially_ if it is successful. (If nobody uses the proprietary program, at least it has not really wronged anyone.) Thus, most of the projects you consider good, I consider bad.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @08:08PM (151 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @08:08PM (#561681)

    RMS is a visionary, but as usual such ideas start before their time is ready. The concept of free software conflicts heavily with our profit driven economic models. Until we evolve as a society beyond the need for money this problem can not be solved. Open source all your software and some assholes will be able to undercut your business and screw over your hard work.

    One day humanity will evolve and economics will simply be about efficient resource allocation. Currently it is tied up in complex systems where money is THE goal. This is an incorrect model, although one we had to use since we were not advanced enough to move beyond it. Instead of merely facilitating human interaction it has become a separate entity with near-deity level worship by some.

    It would be nice if more people understood this instead of ignoring other possibilities because they clash with the presumption of current economic theory.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @08:27PM (3 children)

      by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @08:27PM (#561692)

      It would be nice if more people understood this instead of ignoring other possibilities because they clash with the presumption of current economic theory.
      Reply to This

      It's easier for most people to imagine the end of the world than it is for them to imagine the end of Capitalism.

      --
      -Love, ants_in_pants
      • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @08:29PM

        by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @08:29PM (#561695)

        I am deeply ashamed.

        --
        -Love, ants_in_pants
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Wednesday August 30, @09:04PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday August 30, @09:04PM (#561719)

        It's easier for most people to imagine the end of the world than it is for them to imagine the end of Capitalism.

        I think we need a bunch of crappy apocalyptic movies based on this premise. Kind of like an economist Michael Bay.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @10:23PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @10:23PM (#562320)

        That's because in the absence of government, you end up with capitalism. Capitalism naturally arises from anarchy.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 30, @08:31PM (104 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @08:31PM (#561696)

      One day humanity will evolve and economics will simply be about efficient resource allocation. Currently it is tied up in complex systems where money is THE goal.

      Money is the goal because money represents resources, and people, being greedy apes, want more resources, and resources are scarce, and likely always will be unless we all start living in The Matrix or something.

      For instance, I'd like to have my own nice house with a luxurious indoor heated pool, and a large well-tended garden around the house, plus miles of private hiking trails in my own forest. Obviously, that represents a lot of resources, which means it takes a lot of money to acquire it, and to maintain it (pools need constant maintenance, and gardens turn in a big weedy mess quickly if people aren't constantly tending them). Maybe eventually we'll have gardening robots so I wouldn't need an army of gardening servants, and I could probably use solar panels to heat the pool so I'm not paying a fortune for energy, but all that still requires a lot of space so I can have it all to myself and not share with others (except maybe a few hot women....). Even in the Star Trek "post scarcity" future, there's only so much good real estate around, and you can't just make more with a replicator like you can a cup of Earl Grey tea. So if you want to be greedy like me and hoard land, you need money for that, and I don't see how it'll ever change. We'd have to somehow transition to a society where people simply don't want to hoard land and are Ok with everyone having a small condo and going to public parks and pools. That's hard to do without changing human nature. We have public parks and pools and other things now, but that's because most of us can't afford our own private forest (at least not near work).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @08:50PM (18 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @08:50PM (#561713)

        Even in the Star Trek "post scarcity" future, there's only so much good real estate around, and you can't just make more with a replicator like you can a cup of Earl Grey tea.

        Terrible example even in the TOS era when the Federation had colonized a thousand planets. If you wanted land, you could find it out in space, the final frontier. Even worse of an example in the TNG era when you could live in a holosuite and have as much land as you could imagine while never leaving home.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Wednesday August 30, @09:07PM (1 child)

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday August 30, @09:07PM (#561722)

          Pratchett took some time imagining what would happen if other near-identical Earths where just one "step" away.
          While not my favorite series of his (Discworld FTW), the Long Earth has some interesting thoughts on humanity in a near-unlimited-resource context.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:27PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:27PM (#561825)

            the Long Earth has some interesting thoughts

            Thoughts? I couldn't discover any. Sketches at most.

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 30, @09:20PM (8 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @09:20PM (#561734)

          In TOS, they didn't show that many colonies, and the ones they did show made them out to be somewhat primitive, with difficult living for the colonists. On top of that, they were constantly fighting with other empires for control of regions of space where these far-flung colonies were located. So no, real estate was not that common even in highly-unrealistic ST.

          In reality, there's likely a vanishing small (if any really) number of planets in this galaxy where people could just land their shuttlecraft and venture out without an environmental suit. There's tons of planets out there, but ones where humans can live? You've got to be kidding. You're not going to find probably any that are compatible with human life the way ours is, complete with vegetation etc. One of the TOS episodes even showed something like this, with a bunch of space-hippies taking over the Enterprise and traveling to "Eden" in the Romulan neutral zone, only to find the grass was acidic and the tree fruit fatally poisonous. Now I suppose if you assume that the "Genesis device" will be invented and used wholesale, that would be a game-changer. Even that movie mentioned that there was a shortage of suitable planets for human colonization, which is why they invented the Genesis device in the first place.

          So no, I don't buy it. If I want land that looks like prime real estate on Hawaii, I'm not going to find it in space.

          As for TNG, they seemed to show the holodecks as being extremely limited in number, and only the highest officers getting to spend much time there. So even there, the resources are limited.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @09:28PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @09:28PM (#561741)

            You better get used to living indoors 24/7. I know am.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:05PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:05PM (#561776)

            Growing food? Manufacturing plants?
            Replicators can produce whatever you desire.
            ...and "waste" becomes input for the next generation of new stuff.
            (We're a good portion of the way there already with 3-D printers; the biggest obstacle is archaic "intellectual property" notions.)

            Recreation?
            A holodeck can produce all the space you could ever want.
            ...filled with all the cool stuff you can imagine.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday August 30, @11:37PM (3 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @11:37PM (#561833)

              Replicators can produce whatever you desire...

              We're a good portion of the way there already with 3-D printers;

              Say... what?
              Look, just happens that I'm in need for 500g of glacial acetic acid - would you be so kind to 3D-print it for me?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:12AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:12AM (#561860)

                8-) I suspect that "need" is a stretch.

                Right now, we've got -needs- pretty well covered.
                I'll admit that -desires- are still a ways off for some folks.

                ...now, there is that pesky "intellectual property" thing.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @12:20AM (1 child)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @12:20AM (#561869)

                  8-) I suspect that "need" is a stretch.

                  Nope, it's a real need. Not a survival level one, I could do it with 30% concentration (instead of glacial), but it is a need.
                  Granted, I can obtain it by other means than "replication", but since you so kindly offered to 3d print it, I thought I'd oblige...

                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday August 31, @12:39AM

                    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday August 31, @12:39AM (#561879) Journal

                    Chemical/drug "printing" is in the works.

                    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a14528/the-chemistry-3d-printer-can-craft-rare-medicinal-molecules-from-scratch/ [popularmechanics.com]

                    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6227/1190 [sciencemag.org]

                    It will be interesting to see how far we can get with this technology and how low the barrier to entry can be made (since whiners at the DEA, FBI, and DHS will be trying to clamp down on it).

                    Note: Acetic acid [wikipedia.org] is one of the molecules that has been detected in outer space. I couldn't find any resources about starting acetic acid or vinegar production on Mars, but I'm sure it will come up eventually once Musk wants some A-1 sauce for his human steak.

                    Back to the chemical printer concept. There are multiple approaches that can be used to get the chemicals you need. For example, bioengineered yeast could output certain chemicals (morphine!). A recent article about "cyborg bacteria" [soylentnews.org] had them producing acetic acid. You could automate and miniaturize [theguardian.com] the mixing of chemicals on a small scale that is not done by the chemical industry. For a space ship or Mars or Lunar base, you want a box, hopefully smaller than a car, that can produce as many possible chemicals as you might need, autonomously, with little to no chemistry knowledge required. And this is just to create vials of liquid, not replicate any object you desire.

                    --
                    [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @02:39PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @02:39PM (#562132)

              Why do I need space? Because I'm human and humans don't usually like being locked up in artificial environments continuously? Why do you think parks exist?

              Sure, maybe if one day we build a bunch of enormous Oneill Cylinders, and even a 3D-printer which automatically builds these Oneill Cylinders for us, complete with forests, beaches, etc., space will be basically free too. But that level of technology is really bordering on fantasy at this point. There's going to be a long period of time between when we have automation doing all our crap jobs (food service, manufacturing, etc.) leaving most of our population with nothing to do and in need of a different economic system, and being able to live in robot-made artificial space habitats.

          • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday August 31, @06:47AM

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday August 31, @06:47AM (#561995) Journal

            where's the "+1 for nerdiness" mod when you need it?

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday August 30, @09:23PM (6 children)

          by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday August 30, @09:23PM (#561736)

          Even worse of an example in the TNG era when you could live in a holosuite and have as much land as you could imagine while never leaving home.

          I mean, Quark was charging for access to his holosuites at the bar, wasn't he? Yes, they had holodecks on Starfleet starships but it's not like your average citizen had one.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:23PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:23PM (#561786)

            I doubt money will ever completely go away, individuals still need a means of making transactions.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:33PM (4 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:33PM (#561790)

            Deep Space Nine wasn't in Federation space, that's why it was called a "deep space" station. Very little about average civilian life was ever portrayed beyond the occasional episode set on Risa or scene set in Sisko's restaurant.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:17AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:17AM (#561865)

              if Sisko's dad's restaurant charged customers for the meal/service, or if he ran it totally pro-bono?

              Because at least the implication to me, along with Picard's farm, was that some form of currency was stil in use, otherwise why would these individuals still have individual businesses they were running?

              I don't imagine just anyone could get a farm or restaurant in a socialist regime, and I don't imagine 'businesses that have been in the family for generations' would've retained their ownership during whatever revolution lead them there.

              Of course I could be wrong.

              • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @02:14AM (2 children)

                by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @02:14AM (#561918)

                They did really gloss over how the "post-money" society worked in the Federation, but if you wanted to speculate you might look at pre-monetary societies on Earth. Contrary to the popular story, created by individuals who had only ever lived under capitalism, and only studied cultures that had at some point in their history used money, there's very little evidence to suggest that barter was actually common within pre-monetary communities, but rather only *between* communities. To the contrary, pre-monetary societies seem to most commonly be gift-economies, where (as I understand it) people essentially "compete" on the quality and suitability of the gifts they give each other.

                I would assume that those who are the most skilled at giving also attract better gifts, but apparently that's not really a driving force. I'll admit, the whole concept seems a bit strange to me, but it's heartening to know that are are viable alternatives to the insane rat-race I've been imperfectly indoctrinated into.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @05:13PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @05:13PM (#562195)

                  Not really, the show stresses personal responsibility as a totally average trait. No one goes and replicates beyond their needs, and people provide services in order to feel useful and contribute to society. As the best starfleet captain said "We no longer value the pursuit of money. The challenge is now to improve yourself."

                  It is hard to understand the concept when you've been submerged in capitalistic rhetoric your whole life, but have you ever wanted to change careers just to try something out? But you've decided against it because financially it doesn't make sense? For example: I would love to spend a year+ as a park ranger, but they are paid next to nothing. I would also love to travel the world teaching English, learning new languages and cultures, but I would hardly save any money at all and the jobs would not be great for a resume. Same for EMT, firefighter, military, etc. I would probably bounce around from job to job as I got bored with them. If humanity made such job transitions simple, and a moneyless society would make it trivial, then there would be the upside of having a much more adaptable population. Also increased happiness levels as people are no longer stuck in a job in order to pay the bills.

                  Truly money free society won't happen for a long time, and even Star Trek people used money to trade with other civilizations. It is simply that money was no longer required for daily living, it became useful only for luxury goods and services and I am fine with that.

                  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @10:02PM

                    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @10:02PM (#562315)

                    Yes, they givea lovely 10,000 foot view, butno details. How do they decide who gets to live at and operate the choice beach front property, vineyards, etc? How is it decided who does and doesn't get their own private spaceship or holodeck? There's obviously a lot of people living on Earth, and choice real estate if nothing else is a finite resource.

      • (Score: 2, Interesting) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @08:55PM (12 children)

        by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @08:55PM (#561716)

        Money is the goal because money represents resources

        Nowadays it mostly doesn't.

        I'd like to have my own nice house with a luxurious indoor heated pool, and a large well-tended garden around the house, plus miles of private hiking trails in my own forest.

        But do you really want that stuff? Most people really want security, comfortable enough living, and leisure time, and everything else is a vague desire that you'd be perfectly happy without. Even with the population being what it is, that's easily achievable with the technology and resources available to us now.

        --
        -Love, ants_in_pants
        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 30, @09:11PM (4 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @09:11PM (#561727)

          Most people really want security, comfortable enough living, and leisure time, and everything else is a vague desire that you'd be perfectly happy without.

          Considering that we almost never see people actually stop working for more, even when they're billionaires, I'd say this is mostly false.

          Personally, if I could have security, reasonable comfort, and leisure time, but I had to live with 20 roommates in an apartment, and while it had a pool it was very crowded and had a lot of kids' pee (and some floating turds) in it, and while it had some gardens, there was lots of litter in them, I wouldn't be very happy at all. I'd want more space. My own private forest and all the rest is just the logical extreme of this.

          Now you could argue that I wouldn't demand *so* much space and exclusivity if I lived with people who behaved well and shared my standards for cleanliness, but that's a utopian fantasy. The more people you put into a situation together, the more chances for conflict arise, to an exponential degree.

          • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @09:34PM

            by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @09:34PM (#561747)

            Considering that we almost never see people actually stop working for more, even when they're billionaires, I'd say this is mostly false.

            I see that every day. Focus on the worst of humanity and you'll see the worst.

            but I had to live with 20 roommates in an apartment,

            Doesn't sound very comfortable to me

            My own private forest and all the rest is just the logical extreme of this.

            Logical extremes are famously not representative of reality

            --
            -Love, ants_in_pants
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by TheRaven on Thursday August 31, @08:51AM (2 children)

            by TheRaven (270) on Thursday August 31, @08:51AM (#562021) Journal

            Considering that we almost never see people actually stop working for more, even when they're billionaires, I'd say this is mostly false.

            Billionaires are statistical outliers. I know quite a few people who work freelance and don't work as much as they're able to. When I was consulting, once I'd made enough to cover my cost of living for a tax year and fill up my tax-free savings allowance, I shifted entirely to doing fun projects. Some of them were paid, some weren't, and all the payment did was rearrange the order of things on my todo list.

            I suspect that part of the reason people keep working is that they don't realise how quickly they hit diminishing returns. When I was growing up, someone told me that there was a logarithmic relationship between income and quality of living and everything I've seen since supports that. Earning ten times as much provides a linear increase, but for most people working ten times as hard isn't possible.

            --
            sudo mod me up
            • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Thursday August 31, @10:40AM

              by PiMuNu (3823) on Thursday August 31, @10:40AM (#562055)

              Anecdotally, I work because I enjoy what I do and people around me are generally pleasant and appreciative. My wife was in a situation where the people around her were not pleasant or appreciative so she moved job.

              I heard an anecdote about a friend of a friend who worked a supermarket checkout because she wanted to get out of the house and she liked the people she worked with. She didn't need the money, but appreciated the discipline that a job required (e.g. it gets a bit depressing spending every day lazing around til noon then mooching around town until the bars open).

            • (Score: 2) by Lester on Thursday August 31, @11:42AM

              by Lester (6231) on Thursday August 31, @11:42AM (#562065)

              Billionaires don't work for money, they work for the game, for competition. Money is just the points of the game.

              They say that someone asked J.P. Morgan

              MAN: How much did you pay for that yacht?
              J.P.MORGAN: Forget it. You couldn't afford.
              MAN: Excuse me. You can't know that.
              J.P.MORGAN: Yes, I do. Because you asked how much it cost.

              Usually billionaires live with much less than the could afford. They are workaholic, not luxuryaholic.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday August 30, @09:20PM (6 children)

          I dunno about the rest of you but I really wouldn't mind having about 9K acres, a small lake, a few large ponds, and plenty of wildlife along with the means to keep them all up. So, yes, some people do genuinely want a whole hell of a lot more space than is absolutely necessary.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:31PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:31PM (#561789)

            And your desire may or may not be allowed. Submit a plan for building a cabin around a specific lake and get approved? Congrats. Want your 9k acres within 30mins of a major urban center? Good luck.

            Resource allocation should be more communal, the private wealth system where one individual can horde the wealth equivalent of small countries is b.r.o.k.e.n.

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday August 30, @11:18PM (4 children)

              Try taking what I've busted my ass for at your own peril, comrade.

              --
              Save Ferris!
              • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday August 31, @02:43AM (3 children)

                by t-3 (4907) on Thursday August 31, @02:43AM (#561930)

                /Take/ what I've got, I'll kill you... but if you need something, and I see that, I will probably give it. "Communal" implies "community", rather than individuals being forced to slave so others don't have to work (which is capitalism).

                • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @10:52AM (2 children)

                  ...rather than individuals being forced to slave so others don't have to work (which is capitalism).

                  You've got that exactly backwards. That is how socialism and communism work not capitalism. See, in capitalism someone not having to work for whatever reason is an anomaly. In socialism it is the end goal that no matter how hard you work, you should never be able to have the things you want out of life until everyone else does first; whether they're willing to work for them or not.

                  Otherwise we're in agreement about charity vs. theft.

                  --
                  Save Ferris!
                  • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday August 31, @12:15PM (1 child)

                    by t-3 (4907) on Thursday August 31, @12:15PM (#562078)

                    You're comparing the economic ramifications of capitalism to the political ramifications of socialism. We're both right, and we're both facetiously ignoring half the problems of each system. I'm not a socialist btw, I empathize much more with libertarians and communal anarchists; I think capitalism is a fine economic system, but it only works when divorced from the political system. If basic needs are met and supplied communally, capitalism is the best system to supply the non-essential things. If capitalism has undue influence on the political system, supplying the basic necessities becomes quickly becomes the only possibility for many, and some will fail to do that, simply because that is how capitalism works. Conversely, socialism will fail due to it's own inefficiencies when implemented at the economic level, rather than the political.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @12:57PM

                      Well, as long as we're consistent I guess.

                      Personally I think capitalism is hands down the best system for meeting needs as well as wants. It rewards those who contribute more to society with more of the latter but, if not mismanaged by the government, it also meets the needs of everyone so long as they contribute, above a minimum threshold, to society.

                      I don't even have issue with people personally lending or giving aid to those who cannot contribute enough to earn their keep. I do have issue with the government being involved because everything they have they've had to take via force. If the "by force" situation changes, so will my opinion. I also have a lesser issue with giving or lending to those able but unwilling to contribute the minimum threshold of value to earn their own living; it is a waste of society's resources because those "helped", by definition, are choosing to be leeches.

                      Further, I have no issue with individuals collectively deciding that they would prefer to seek their way in life via socialism, so long as the government has no part in it. Voluntary socialism, on a small scale, works perfectly well within capitalist societies.

                      "Society", as used in the above context, is simply a means of addressing all concerned individuals. I vehemently do not believe it is a separate thing whose good should always be addressed above any individual's.

                      --
                      Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday August 30, @09:25PM (34 children)

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @09:25PM (#561737) Homepage

        resources are scarce

        Kinda.

        There are far more empty homes than there are homeless people. About 50-60% of food is destined not for somebody's belly but the garbage bin. Water shortages have much more to do with agricultural usage (to produce the food going in the trash, remember) than they do with humans drinking it. There are massive surpluses of clothing all over the world (costing many small-scale weavers and tailors and cobblers their livelihoods, I might add). The per-capita income of the world is about $12,500 per person, which is above the US poverty line. And there's such a surplus of available labor in the world that multinationals are jumping around the world convincing poor countries to engage in a "race to the bottom" where workers are paid practically nothing for their services.

        So the upshot of that is of the things that people really truly need the only one that is hard to come by, but for the legal fictions around private property, is medical treatment. Cuba has shown that can be done in a much more cost-effective manner than you might think. And in the "developed" world, there's good reason to think that just reducing the length of patents for medical devices and pharmaceuticals would really put a dent in the costs.

        About the only argument to be made in defense of the current systems' ability to give people the basics of survival is "Well, if we didn't have people in poverty, nobody would be motivated to produce all that stuff, so we wouldn't have enough to go around." But the fact is that we don't know whether that's true, because we've never before as a species been in a position to find out.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 30, @09:34PM (26 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @09:34PM (#561748)

          I'm just pointing out that, even in a "post-scarcity" economy where we've fixed problems with IP and we have replicators and robots making everything for us. some things will always be scarce, namely real estate. You can't replicate a planet (well, maybe you can, but that's a LOT harder than making a robot that makes clothes, or even replicating a cup of tea). Even in Star Trek they don't show common people living in luxurious estates, and they tended to scoff at the idea of people hoarding that much space and not living in happy commune-like societies.

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday August 31, @12:28AM (25 children)

            by HiThere (866) on Thursday August 31, @12:28AM (#561872)

            The exponential factor in population growth means that whatever you do, you'll always run up against limits unless you constrain population growth. The relationship between surface area and volume means that it's a lot more efficient to live on chunks where most of the mass isn't crunched up around the center. Just because we've always lived on a planet doesn't mean that's a good idea when technology gets good enough to create space habitats that are proof against solar storms (which at first is going to mean a lot of shielding, but earth is good evidence that magnetic field shielding should also be possible.

            OTOH, space habitats are complex. Complex technologies tend to break down. I wouldn't want to live in the first couple of generations of space habitat. Still, it would allow the same amount of mass to support an incredibly hugely larger number of people, especially when combined with some form of virtual reality.

            Additionally, the population is currently shrinking in technological area. The reasons for this aren't clear. It could be that pollutants are retarding fertility. It could be that when there's lots of nice things to buy, people don't want to waste their resources (including time!) on children. This isn't really clear, but two things that became common shortly before this trend was noticed:
            1) Widespread use of DDT.
            2) TV
            Was it one or the other of those? Or perhaps they interact in some sort of feedback loop?

            That said, physical resources are inherently limited. There's only so much matter within our light-cone. The same limitation doesn't apply to virtual reality, and in virtual reality you don't get chiggers or Lyme disease.

            P.S.: You want a population control method? Just imagine when VR gets haptic feedback and interactive AI. (It doesn't even need to be particularly good AI.) The population control you'll need is something to cause people to bother to have kids. This may solve the Fermi Paradox.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @03:02AM (18 children)

              by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @03:02AM (#561938)

              There's a simpler solution for nigh-unlimited real estate that you overlooked: Stop just living on the surface of objects.

              As you point out, if you're living in space you probably want to live "underground" anyway - you want a few yards of rock between you and space to avoid dangerous levels of continuous radiation exposure. Magnetic shielding is nice for solar storms and other charged-particle radiation, but does nothing against EM radiation like X-rays, gamma rays, etc, nor cosmic rays whose mass and velocity are easily sufficient to punch through any magnetic shield. It pretty much takes several pounds per square inch worth of shielding to protect against those, in the form of either a substantial atmosphere or a few yards of rock. Especially against the cosmic rays, which trigger a far more dangerous fission cascade on impact.

              But, if you're living in a sealed artificial underground ecosystem anyway, why leave Earth at all? We've got *tons* of far more (and far more convenient) underground space right here. The only reason to go to space is if it's space itself that appeals to you. Just for reference, the entire mass of the asteroid belt is estimated at about 5% that of the moon, or 0.06% that of Earth. Which if I did my math correctly is equivalent to roughly the outermost 0.02% of it's radius, or a depth of 1.27km. Of course ground temperatures increase at a rate of about 25*C per km of depth, so we'd need pretty impressive cooling systems if we wanted to utilize a substantial fraction of that. But hey, you've got gravity and fast and easy access to your neighbors for your trouble.

              • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 31, @05:07AM (6 children)

                by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday August 31, @05:07AM (#561966) Journal

                Probably the only object we'll be living on anytime soon in the asteroid belt is Ceres. Ceres has a surface area of 2,770,000 km2. That's roughly the size of Argentina. Earth has 148,940,000 km2 of land surface area. Ceres has 0.015% the mass of Earth but about 1.86% of the land surface area.

                Another interesting thing to note are the internal oceans on some of these objects. Ceres is thought to contain more water than the fresh water on Earth [wikipedia.org]. Ganymede apparently contains more water than Earth's oceans [space.com]. Now we can use desalinization on Earth just like we'd need to use processing on this space water, but that is a very interesting resource ripe for the taking (and it might contain life forms at this very moment so we'll want to drill there at some point).

                --
                [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday August 31, @08:22AM

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @08:22AM (#562013) Journal

                  Ceres is thought to contain more water than the fresh water on Earth [wikipedia.org].

                  But how much of that water is potable? I mean, earth has vastly more water than fresh water; the problem is that we cannot drink that water without first applying costly and energy-consuming processes to remove substances (mostly, salt) from it.

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @12:47PM (4 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @12:47PM (#562092)

                  I see no reason to assume that. I mean, what exactly is the draw of Ceres to bring you there in the first place? Not many folks are going to be drawn to microgravity homesteading by the fertile soil and lush vegetation. Meanwhile, it has sufficient gravity (0.28g) to mostly destroy most of the advantages of zero-G mining and industry, but probably not nearly enough make it trivial to adapt terrestrial practices, nor to satisfy human health requirements.

                  Now, once we have a thriving asteroid mining industry, then Ceres will no doubt become a valuable resupply depot, eventually to become the thriving Mecca of the asteroid belt - but it has comparatively little to offer until then.

                  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @02:51PM (3 children)

                    by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @02:51PM (#562135)

                    Meanwhile, it has sufficient gravity (0.28g) to mostly destroy most of the advantages of zero-G mining and industry

                    Wrong. Ceres has surface gravity of 0.28 m/s2, which translates to a mere 0.029g. Units are important!!

                    0.029g really is microgravity (0.28g is not). It really might be very advantageous for zero-g mining and industry. But it's certainly not going to be livable by humans long-term. You'd probably achieve escape velocity just jumping, and would certainly have health problems from such low gravity.

                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @04:42PM (2 children)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @04:42PM (#562177)

                      Quite right. Careless of me.

                      0.029g still isn't anywhere clos to microgravity though. It's closer, you start to get some of the minor benefits, but unlike in free-fall nothing stays where you put it.

                      Escape velocity is also still an issue at 0.51km/s, or about 1141mph. Over 20x less than on Earth, but still nothing to sneeze at.

                      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday September 01, @06:53AM (1 child)

                        by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Friday September 01, @06:53AM (#562426) Journal

                        I want to play catch with you using a 5 kilogram boulder (hint [wikipedia.org]).

                        --
                        [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
                        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday September 03, @04:14PM

                          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday September 03, @04:14PM (#563160)

                          5kg is hardly a boulder. And you still wouldn't be able to toss it very far, even if it effectively only weighed the same as a baseball - for the same transfer of momentum it's speed is going to be far slower, so even though it falls a lot slower it won't actually travel that far.

                          Meanwhile, one of the big perks of microgravity industry is that you can toss around cars and buildings in a controlled and frictionless manner, without worrying about gravity at all.

              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday August 31, @05:37PM (10 children)

                by HiThere (866) on Thursday August 31, @05:37PM (#562210)

                I think you have to give up on uncharged cosmic rays. And shielding is just likely to increase the damage surface via secondary emissions. OTOH, they're a lot less of a problem than the others.
                Also, I wasn't even thinking of living on the surface of objects in space. Too many micro-meteorites around at too high a relative velocity. But that dust could be valuable if you could just catch it. Some of it's charged, that should be able to be handled. Some of it's ferro-magnetic. That should be able to be handled. It all depends on how flexible you can make the magnetic shielding. But some of the dust is uncharged and not ferro-magnetic, and you want a shield between you and it. So you need a thick rind on your habitat, and internal barriers against accidents. Use the outer layers for stores that don't mind the vacuum. Use the next inner layers for things like water, etc. The layer in from that for food storage. Then you come to living areas. Since gravity is probably needed, this will be the living quarters (you spin the place). Inner from that are work areas and the library, schools, etc. Inner from that is labs. Inner from that is rapid transit (actually that doesn't need a separate layer, but it benefits from light gravity and short distances, use elevators to get in and out. Inner from that is manufacturing...which isn't necessarily enclosed and extends all the way to the center. At the center there's an ion-rocket for moving around...not agile, but economical in fuel.

                Note this is just a rough sketch, and I'm not really committed to any part of the design, but this grows by increasing the height of the cylinder, until it makes sense to split it into two cylinders...possibly spinning at different rates, but still magnetically bonded with a zero friction link (so no direct material link). Clearly with this design you want your entry/exit ports to be on a non-rotating cylinder, and there may be a central core that is used to move freight between the cylinders. Calling it an elevator is too simplistic, but that's almost what it is, but it must contain mechanisms for isolating itself from various things rotating around it at various different speeds. You can think of it as magnetic levitation, but if done properly that's just a bumper that would only be used in case of emergency. But it needs to be in multiple isolated slices that can adjust their rotational speed to match either the core or the external shell.

                Too much detail, but it's definitely NOT living on the surface. Only planets, and not most of them, even permit living on the surface. Habitats on the moon would clearly need to be subsurface, and the same is probably true of Mars, once people think really hard about living there. And both cases need just as much life support as a space habitat with pluses and minuses. Gravity would be harder to deal with, but shielding would be easier (as there was more easily available material to use for shielding.

                --
                Put not your faith in princes.
                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @09:58PM (9 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @09:58PM (#562313)

                  Cosmic rays will kill you just as surely as the others, just not quite as quickly. But like I said, it's easy enough to shield against the same way we do here on Earth - cover yourself with several pounds per square inch of shielding. Not terribly viable for a space vehicle that you'd want to accelerate - in that case yeah, you just deal with all the baseline radiation rather than try to protect yourself and have to deal with the far worse secondary emissions from cosmic rays. And just try not to spend any more time than necessary exposed to it. But it's not an issue if living in a hollowed-out asteroid. Assuming a density comparable to basalt (1.74oz/in^3) it only requires 135 inches, or 11.3 feet to get roughly the same 14 lb/in^2 worth of shielding as we get here on Earth's surface.

                  One of the designs I've played with is to hollow out a large region within the asteroid, and then put rotating habitats in that - you get the benefit of shielding, without having to hold an immense mass of spinning shielding together. You can then travel between habitats and the rest of the microgravity facilities within the asteroid by way of either axial "spinning airlocks", or via circular "elevator" railcars that run between the rim of the habitat and the surrounding rock, alternately matching speed with one or the other. Not a perfect solution, but it gets you up and running without massive up-front outlays for a huge facility, and gives relatively easy access between "gravity" zones and regions free of both "gravity" and the associated Coriolis effects.

                  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday September 01, @05:53AM (8 children)

                    by HiThere (866) on Friday September 01, @05:53AM (#562419)

                    What proportion of cosmic rays are ionized out in space? IIUC almost all of them are, in which case a magnetic shield should be able to divert them. If I'm right then the only question is would the magnetic field needed to shield against them be so strong as to be just as dangerous,.. but a thin ferro-magnetic skin should shield against that.

                    The problem is that we don't yet know how to generate the magnetic shield. Planets seem to show that if properly done it shouldn't consume significant energy, but IIUC right now we either need to use electro-magnets or super-conductors, neither of which is particularly energetically efficient.

                    --
                    Put not your faith in princes.
                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday September 01, @01:04PM (7 children)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Friday September 01, @01:04PM (#562481)

                      I believe many are ionized, so they could theoretically be diverted by a sufficiently powerful magnetic shield - but we're talking about momentums that often completely dwarf anything in our largest particle accelerators, so that even those insanely powerful and highly concentrated magnetic traps couldn't dramatically divert them. The Earth's paltry magnetic field can mostly handle the slow, heavily ionized solar wind, but has basically no effect whatsoever on cosmic rays.

                      Also, I'm not sure there there's any evidence whatsoever that planets produce magnetic fields particularly efficiently - I think you're grossly overestimating the strength of the fields, and grossly underestimating the energies at work in planetary phenomena. Heck, just the tiny change in solar energy retention from our CO2 emissions traps a million times more incoming energy than was produced burning the hydrocarbons.

                      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday September 01, @05:59PM (6 children)

                        by HiThere (866) on Friday September 01, @05:59PM (#562621)

                        Yes, but diversion is a LOT easier than stopping. So I think it might well work. Of course, we don't yet have a good magnetic shield to test it against.

                        So with this supposition the question becomes "How dangerous are the neutral cosmic rays? The ways I can think of to ionize them are all clumsy, and most of them result in secondary radiation. (E.g. have multiple layers of shield with high capture cross-sections in the expected energy spectrum. [Could you just target the electrons of the neutral cosmic rays? Probably not, but if so this might possibly be made to work. I see no way, however, to avoid this being clumsy and expensive.

                        The thing is, planetary fields aren't that strong, but they have a long reach. So they exert a small amount of force over a long distance of travel. As for efficiency....well, IIUC the evidence is that the planets magnetic fields are a side effect of internal flows of lightly charged magma. (And also IIUC this is a theory that doesn't have much in the way of experimental evidence. Mainly things like the Moon lost it's magnetic field at such and such a time and its core solidified at such and such a time....and these all depend on long chains of reasoning from small pieces of evidence.) But the theory, such as it is, doesn't seem to suggest that much energy is spent on maintaining the field. And permanent magnets tend to hold their charge with little reinforcement, and things that are moving tend to stay in motion unless stopped by friction, etc. So it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of reason that maintaining the field wouldn't require ANY input of energy. Things are rarely that perfect, however, and even with perfection any energy used in diverting objects would need to be repaid...though perhaps momentum transfer could be so arranged that diversion was symmetric. Etc.

                        OTOH, I do tend to envision a space habitat based around a cylinder, so a rock shield isn't something I find unreasonable. I just want to minimize it, because any mass you use that way can't be used for extending the cylinder;

                        --
                        Put not your faith in princes.
                        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday September 03, @04:57PM (5 children)

                          by Immerman (3985) on Sunday September 03, @04:57PM (#563181)

                          Diversion *is* a lot easier - but the smaller the diversion, the greater the distance it needs to be done at, in a fairly linear inverse relationship. But magnetic fields fall off with the inverse cube of distance, making large-scale magnetic shields extremely problematic

                          Yeah, if you could create a planetary strength-and-range magnetic field, with a tiny spaceship at the center, it might be enough to protect from ionized cosmic rays. Maybe. I'd have to work out the math to see if it's even within several orders of magnitude of strong enough, but it might be. Certainly if you assume the ship is the source, in which case the magnetic field nearby would likely make those in the LHC look like refrigerator magnets in comparison.

                          As for maintaining the field - superconductive electromagnets are actually really good for that - the current will simply keep circulating when you cut the power source, with very low maintenance losses provided you can keep the superconductors cold enough. They still have working losses though, diverting a particle traveling at nearly the speed of light takes some small amount of energy, and that energy is permanently drained from the magnetic field (same thing happens with permanent magnets too)

                          I will say for your cylindrical space habitat bias - do consider the size of asteroids available. There are hundreds of them 100km across, and several thousand more 10km across. We'd still run out eventually, but not for a while. Plus you've got that old square-cube law working in your favor: only the outer few yards needs to be shielding, while the interior can be almost entirely living and working spaces. Double the diameter and you get 8x as much living space while only requiring 4x as much shielding material.

                          And just because I was curious as to how much you could actually fit within an asteroid: The US covers an area of 9.8 trillion square meters. Assume an average interfloor height of 5 m and that's about 50 trillion cubic meters - the volume of a sphere less than 46 kilometers across.

                          Also - basically unrelated, I'd be tempted to put the water storage near the center, simply because it's so important - that's very likely your primary water and oxygen reserves, you don't want to risk it venting into space. Plus, zero-G swimming pool... Storing i as an ice shell might be an option if you were far enough from the sun, but just the body heat of the inhabitants would probably make active cooling necessary unless you were out near Nptune or something. I'd likely go for commerical/recreational districts in the outside rings: easier to evacuate in case of problems, and keeps people in the highest-gravity sections while they're at their most active, maximizing the benefit.

                          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday September 03, @11:54PM (4 children)

                            by HiThere (866) on Sunday September 03, @11:54PM (#563245)

                            Actually, the field from a single magnet falls off as the 4th power of the distance, because of the dual polarity. But this may possibly be finesses, and probable the field would need to be generated in a set of rings around the habitat rather than within the habitat, so the strongest part of the field would be external to the habitat. This might mitigate the need for a ferro-magnetic shield around it...of course, if the walls were made of steel that would be essentially irrelevant. If they were aluminum though, it would be a significantly different. Similarly for titanium, or glass with carbon fibers. (Glass with conductive fibers, though, might hold the shield in place. But if it were to require minimal electrical power for maintenance the fibers would need to be superconductors. But it would need to be a glass that wasn't too strongly affected by thermal stresses.)

                            --
                            Put not your faith in princes.
                            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday September 04, @04:09PM (3 children)

                              by Immerman (3985) on Monday September 04, @04:09PM (#563478)

                              Do you have a source for that? Everything I've seen says magnetism falls off as 1/r^3. If we had magnetic monopoles they'd fall off as 1/r^2, the same as gravity, electrostatics, light intensity, and everything else that propagates through 3-dimensional space.

                              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday September 04, @04:54PM (2 children)

                                by HiThere (866) on Monday September 04, @04:54PM (#563489)

                                Sorry, it's been a long time since physics. Now that you say so I remember that EM and gravity fall off as the square, so you are right, magnetism falls off as the cube. But that's only far enough away that you get the two poles acting about equally. When you get closer the computation becomes quite difficult as you're combining two "falls off as the square" effects which conflict with each other. As you approach one of the poles it becomes sufficiently dominant, that the other fades into insignificance. I think that was where that "4th power" effect came from.

                                What's really going on is difficult to model, which is why they always trot out that "lines of force" model, but what's really happening is more line induced magnetism reacting against two poles which each fall off as the square in strength, but which conflict. And the resultant effect depends on whether the particle is charged, ferro-magnetic, or para-magnetic. Or just unresponsive. And then there's the field created by a charge running along a wire, which produces a linear effect, but the line isn't usually straight. I never even tried to calculate from first principles how an electro-magnet field was generated. It was hard enough for a straight wire. (This was multiple decades ago, and that wasn't my main interest in physics. And I dropped out about the time they started using tensors.)

                                Anyway, that third power response is the effect you get at a distance from the magnet. When you get closer the effects become stronger and not evenly spread.

                                In a way it's sort of like "jerk". Nobody ever calculated the higher derivatives, they always stop with acceleration, but acceleration has to start, and that's a higher derivative. And that has to start, which is a higher derivative. The "jerk" at the start of acceleration actually theoretically has an infinite number of derivatives, each of which acts for a shorter period of time. But rate of change of acceleration is always something that happens for a very short period of time, for lots of very good reasons. So people tend to ignore it. But if it weren't for jerk, glass wouldn't break when you dropped it.

                                Now this seems to mean that a strong magnetic shield would need to have LOTS of magnetic poles, which may be impossible. OTOH, if it has lots of magnetic poles, the effect at a distance would be minor. So you may be right that it can't be done...but the situation is complex enough that I'm going to keep hoping it's doable. (How would one calculate the effects of a rotating magnetic field? Usually the speed of rotation is slow enough that this can be ignored, but one rotated electronically might be able to do it fast enough that...?? Or what about a pulsing one? That last, though, doesn't sound like a low energy solution.)

                                --
                                Put not your faith in princes.
                                • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday September 04, @04:56PM

                                  by HiThere (866) on Monday September 04, @04:56PM (#563490)

                                  Sorry, that was largely thinking out loud. I'm not really sure of ANY of that. As I said, it's been a long time since physics.

                                  --
                                  Put not your faith in princes.
                                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday September 04, @08:21PM

                                  by Immerman (3985) on Monday September 04, @08:21PM (#563560)

                                  No worries, I think out loud here a fair bit myself.

                                  I think you're wrong about "jerk" though - firstly it's quite common to consider the rate of change of acceleration, mostly as a comfort thing. Elevators are a common example - some accelerate gradually, while others transition quite rapidly, giving a "stomach in your throat/feet" feeling. Where glass is concerned the problem is its rigidity, which means any impact with another rigid object will cause a spike of acceleration as the contacting point comes to a stop nearly instantly. Often considered as as an "impulse" a spike of infinite force for zero duration, that imparts a definite finite change in momentum. Hard drives have a similar weakness - that "20Gs of impact resistance" can easily be overcome by, say, tapping a screwdriver against its casing. Rigid body collisions invariable involve rather ridiculous momentary accelerations.

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday August 31, @04:50AM (1 child)

              by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Thursday August 31, @04:50AM (#561964) Journal

              but two things that became common shortly before this trend was noticed:
              1) Widespread use of DDT.
              2) TV

              So you're saying DDT is causing people to not procreate or not get pregnant, rather than massively increasing miscarriages which would be very noticeable? Except you're really not saying anything at all because you're putting it in a list that could have hundreds of items, including many manmade chemicals [ecowatch.com] that didn't exist 100 years ago that can now be found in the urine of 99% of the population.

              Even effects on pregnancy rate should be noticeable in studies. You bonk 15-20 times [menstrual-cycle-calculator.com] at random times of the month, and a pregnancy is likely to occur.

              I think it's widely accepted that economic and social factors are to blame for the falling pregnancy rates. As people in the third world move up into the middle class, their pregnancy rates will also decline.

              I imagine that you are just goddamn unlikely to be a poor person on mankind's first Martian colony. If Musk gets his way, the ticket costs $100,000 a person. That's likely just travel expenses and doesn't count the cost of building living space. And it's a very optimistic estimate based on as many as a thousand reusable spaceships shuttling in between Earth and Mars. Once you get there, basic needs are going to have to be met using indoor greenhouses and water production + aggressive recycling. So it will be very planned out so that nobody is starving, since food + water distribution will be airtight. It's unclear that you will need to pay for food and water.

              Also, no human has ever given birth beyond Earth (that we know of, insert your ancient alien/Stargate fantasy here). Conditions on Mars could lead to more miscarriages, weird births, and people shunning sex or unprotected sex. We'll have to see if there is a population explosion problem on Mars. It might become a problem they want to have.

              --
              [SIG] 04/14/2017: Soylent Upgrade v13 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday September 01, @06:05PM

                by HiThere (866) on Friday September 01, @06:05PM (#562626)

                Actually I think there is more evidence that TV has affected the reproductive rate of humans than that DDT has...but DDT and it's functional equivalents have affected the reproduction of so many species that I don't just assume that chemical pollution hasn't affected human reproduction. They don't do testing for effects that are difficult to see when multiple different pollutants interact. And many of the people who do the testing have a positive incentive to not find any problems. So I'm not going to exonerate pollution without better evidence. Certainly we've got a lot of chemical pollution in chemicals that are called "estrogen mimics", and to presume that that has NO affect on reproduction is something that needs proof, even though I agree that proving it would be horrendously difficult.

                --
                Put not your faith in princes.
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @01:44PM (3 children)

              by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @01:44PM (#562113)

              As for population growth rate reductions, I'd say there's a far more relevant item than widespread use of DDT.

              Widespread use of effective birth control.

              Pretty much everywhere women have access to cheap (in local terms) reliable birth control and family planning education(to introduce the frankly mind-boggling idea that you can choose how many children you have), birthrates rapidly fall to approximately replacement levels. With the notable exceptions of some regions where religion holds powerful cultural sway and a strong anti-birth-control stance (most notably Catholicism)

              Beyond that, there seems to be some correlation between birth rates and economic opportunities. If kids can realistically be expected to attain a notably higher standard of living than their parents, then growth rates trend positive. If on the other hand they're likely to experience a lower standard of living, as is the case in most of the developed world thanks to wealth concentration exceeding wealth production, then growth rates trend negative.

              Almost as though well-grounded pessimism over the life your children will lead reduces people's desire to have children, even if many/most people don't think of it in quite such clear terms.

              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @03:00PM (1 child)

                by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @03:00PM (#562138)

                With the notable exceptions of some regions where religion holds powerful cultural sway and a strong anti-birth-control stance (most notably Catholicism)

                Some. In Italy, where 87.8% of the population identifies as Catholic, the birth rate is 1.41 (children per woman) (2008), and that's only because they've had massive immigration; it had fallen to a low of 1.18 back in 1995. In Spain, the rate is 1.47, which also has been climbing since the 1990s. 76.7% of Spaniards are Catholic; however, 55.3% say they almost never go to any religious service.

                The Latin American countries seem to take their Catholicism a lot more seriously; at a glance, Brazil's TFR (total fertility rate, children/woman) is 1.8-something, and Mexico's is 2.13.

                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @04:28PM

                  by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @04:28PM (#562167)

                  Yes, there are certainly plenty of areas where people tell the Church to shove it when it comes to birth control. My point was only that when it comes to places where people can easily afford birth control, yet don't use it, you can usually find the Catholic influence close at hand.

              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday August 31, @05:43PM

                by HiThere (866) on Thursday August 31, @05:43PM (#562217)

                Birth control *is* important, and *has* had a strong effect. But the change happened out of sync with changes in birth control. (Actually, it was most strongly correlated with TV. Perhaps "Not tonight honey, 'I love Lucy' is coming on." Although not precisely that as it was originally noticed in India.)

                --
                Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:44PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:44PM (#561795)

          ...and in the City of Los Angeles, they're arguing about whether to allow developers to build MORE housing that only the affluent can afford.
          ...when there's already a shortage of affordable housing.

          We're in a drought in SoCal.
          The last time we got a heavy rain hereabouts, millions of gallons of water went rushing out to sea via the concrete ditches we call rivers.

          The problem, once again, is poor resource management on behalf of The Majority.

          Cuba has shown that [medical care] can be done in a much more cost-effective manner

          USA's maximize-profits, industry-centric system is the most expensive on the planet and only gives meh results overall.
          The next-worst has about a 40 percent improvement in cost and significantly better results.

          if we didn't have people in poverty

          USAian worker productivity since 1968 has gone up nearly 3x.
          Spending power for Joe Average, however, has remained flat.
          (The Ownership Class has skimmed off the additional profits.)

          ...meanwhile, Mondragon (now with worldwide operations) hasn't had a separate ownership class since it began in Spain in 1956; the workers are the owners and they reap all the gains.

          The "always be maximizing profits for the Aristocratic Ownership Class" model is obsolete.
          Like slave economies and Feudalism, Capitalism has become an anachronism.

          Oligarch sucks too.

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday August 30, @11:12PM (3 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @11:12PM (#561813) Journal

          There are far more empty homes than there are homeless people
          There's 7.5 billion people on the planet. 100 million of them are homeless [homelessworldcup.org]

          About 50-60% of food is destined not for somebody's belly but the garbage bin.
          More like 30% but I agree that's a problem. [fao.org]

          There are massive surpluses of clothing all over the world
          Never even heard of this one. Google hasn't either.

          The per-capita income of the world is about $12,500 per person
          Nope, $2920 [gallup.com]

          $12,500 per person, which is above the US poverty line.
          Partial credit. Does not apply to Alaska or Hawaii. [hhs.gov]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:57PM (#561846)

            There are massive surpluses of clothing all over the world

            Never even heard of this one.

            I have.

            Google hasn't either

            Wanna bet? [google.com]

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @03:04PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @03:04PM (#562139)

            There are far more empty homes than there are homeless people
            There's 7.5 billion people on the planet. 100 million of them are homeless

            To be fair, you haven't refuted his point at all. You didn't look at how many empty residences there are. There's a lot of empty houses in rural parts of America that people have abandoned (whether they're habitable is another matter), and a lot of vacant properties on the market. There's also a lot of properties that are just being sat on by investors. It's such a huge problem in Vancouver Canada that they passed a big tax on it; Chinese investors were buying up properties and sitting on them as a store of value, and not bothering to rent them out because that's too much work and they didn't need the rental income. It's also a problem in NYC; I read about how many of the buildings in Times Square are sitting vacant because they simply rent out the side of the building to put LED signs on, and leave the interiors empty because they don't want the hassle of dealing with tenants (either residential or commercial).

          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday September 01, @06:56PM

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @06:56PM (#562666) Homepage

            There are far more empty homes than there are homeless people
            There's 7.5 billion people on the planet. 100 million of them are homeless

            US: 18 million vacancies.
            Europe: 11 million vacancies.
            China: 55 million vacancies.
            India: 10 million vacancies.
            Brazil: 6 million vacancies.

            And I'm already at 100 million, and haven't even looked at most of the world yet.

            The per-capita income of the world is about $12,500 per person
            Nope, $2920 [gallup.com]

            The per-capita income is the mean average income, which I calculated by taking the $78 trillion or so the world produced (per the World Bank) and dividing it by my guess of 6.5 billion people in the world - if we accept your 7.5 billion people in the world, then the number shifts to $10,400, which means we're not quite as well off but still much closer to my number than your number.

            That vast difference between the mean and median gives you an idea of how unequal the economy really is.

            --
            If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
        • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Friday September 01, @01:22PM (1 child)

          by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @01:22PM (#562488)

          the legal fictions around private property

          I'm not clear whether you are saying private property is not correctly distributed (in your opinion) or whether you think private property should not exist.

          If the latter, please stop eating. Every time you eat something, you exclude the other multi billion people in the world from one of their basic needs. Eating something is the most fundamental way of asserting "This is mine. Nobody else can have it."

          --
          "Anti-virus" is proof that fundamental problems remain unsolved. Yet we will trust our lives to self driving cars.
          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Friday September 01, @05:58PM

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @05:58PM (#562620) Homepage

            I'm saying that the reason the stuff isn't distributed properly is that there's a concept of "private property" that is seen as rather inviolate which prevents it from being redistributed more usefully. I don't have a specific answer for what to do about that, it's more of an observation.

            --
            If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday August 30, @11:33PM (25 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @11:33PM (#561831)

        Money is the goal because money represents resources,

        There was a time when it used to be like that. Currently, no - money represent anything but resources.
        This turn happened when "service based economy" become the norm - now, money represents your power to command others to do services to you.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:13AM (24 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:13AM (#561862)

          People's labor is a resource

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @12:17AM (23 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @12:17AM (#561864)

            Disagree. People services is essentially a chunk of people life time (their life time is necessary to provide a service, even if not sufficient).

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @12:46AM (22 children)

              Your explanation there just stated his point. Time is a resource and it is, and will always remain, finite.

              --
              Save Ferris!
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @01:57AM (18 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @01:57AM (#561912)

                Time is a resource and it is, and will always remain, finite.

                Curiosity: is the time you spend with your family for sale? At the market price?

                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @02:16AM (11 children)

                  To a point, yes. The more scarce it becomes, the higher the price. You can see examples every day when people leave their families and go to work.

                  --
                  Save Ferris!
                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @03:22AM (10 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @03:22AM (#561942)

                    To a point, yes. The more scarce it becomes, the higher the price.

                    Scarcity in what reference?
                    If "your time as a resource" then you can see scarcity.
                    When is "your or any equivalent time", then suddenly the scarcity is debatable - and the market price is lower than you would accept.
                    And your family time suddenly change from "saleable resource" in "quality time with the family".
                    Do you qualify an (unique) object of art as a "resource"? Is a bottle of rare wine (which you would never think to sell but keep it to enjoy yourself) a resource?

                    You can see examples every day when people leave their families and go to work.

                    I'm equally seeing people taking long breaks from paid work to do whatever they like better than paid work.
                    A matter of affordability, right.

                    My point: you can qualify (and quantify) some of the "life time" as a resource, but it doesn't follow that all the "life time" is a resource.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @11:08AM (9 children)

                      Yes, yes it does. Something either is a resource or it isn't. When the value of your time to you becomes higher than anyone is willing to pay, you stay home. When it lowers, you go to work.

                      Lemme splain very carefully. You as an individual get twenty-four hours per day. That is most definitely a finite number. How you distribute it is up to you but you cannot stretch it or compact it in any way*. It is a resource because you have to choose how to spend it and it is scarce because no matter what you do you will never get more than twenty four hours in a day.

                      * You can apparently stretch it by using tools or paying for someone to do something for you but that's an illusion; you still only have twenty four hours of your own to distribute per day.

                      I'm equally seeing people taking long breaks from paid work to do whatever they like better than paid work.
                      A matter of affordability, right.

                      Absolutely. I've been on one for two years and change, though I've started hustling up some moneys again very recently. A wiser person than me would have saved all that money I burned through for retirement but it is what it is.

                      --
                      Save Ferris!
                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @12:29PM (8 children)

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @12:29PM (#562084)

                        Now look, we may discuss on the basis of two different interpretation of the "resource".

                        For me, "resource" is strictly related with economy and I refuse to let my entire life be governed by economy - I need craziness and moments of "the fuck with responsibility and planning and evaluating consequences. Que sera, sera - here-and-now's the only certainty". As such, I won't consider my personal time as a "resource".

                        Yeah, the choice of seeing everything as a budget (at least) may be rationally valid, but not everything need to be rational - e.g. my personal time is economically invaluable, there aren't enough money in this world to pay for something I'm not selling; sounds too crazy for you?
                        The always-rational kind of attitude leads to hypoalcoholemia: physiologically, it's a condition in which there's too much blood in alcohol; the external manifestation is taking life too serious for too long.

                        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @01:03PM

                          but not everything need to be rational

                          Never said it did. Infinity isn't rational but it's a perfectly acceptable value to set on specific hours of your time.

                          Yeah, we're arguing semantics. Let's us stop doing that.

                          --
                          Save Ferris!
                        • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @04:33PM (6 children)

                          by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @04:33PM (#562172)

                          And yet even the craziness and "the fuck with responsibility and planning and evaluating consequences" are economic choices in which you're choosing how to allocate limited resources. Nobody said economics had to be *rational* - in fact the advertising industry is almost entirely dedicated to promoting irrational economic activity.

                          Economics is the science of resource allocation - and *everything* is a resource. Most especially time.

                          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @10:33PM (5 children)

                            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @10:33PM (#562322)

                            Economics is the science of resource allocation - and *everything* is a resource. Most especially time.

                            Semantics. You want to call them so, feel free to do it but be aware that, in doings so, you risk diminishing your reality.

                            There's a distinction between "doing it the natural way" and "doing it within the bounds of a science".
                            Just because the burger-flipper doesn't jump from heights due to the inexorable effects of gravity will have on his body, it doesn't mean the poor creature is doing physics.

                            A science propose models and define specific terms. Those models will always be an incomplete representation of the reality and the terminology will reduce the object it defines, letting aside the traits of that object which are not relevant to that particular science. E.g. physicists will ignore the "resource" trait of time, is inconsequential for their studies.
                            To understand the "you risk diminishing your reality", try the following experiment: during sex, try to apply "time management" techniques to your very actions during the act and run "what-if scenarios to optimize the efficiency in terms of intensity of orgasm vs the time required to obtain it, within the constraints of energy available for both partners after a whole day at the office, the quality of your dinner and the time between the dinner and sex".
                            See where applying economy under these circumstances will lead you.

                            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday September 01, @03:29AM (4 children)

                              by Immerman (3985) on Friday September 01, @03:29AM (#562399)

                              Ah, I think I see where we're disagreeing. When I say "it's a science", I think you're hearing "we should approach this scientifically" Which I am categorically *not* saying. There is a difference between understanding the mechanics of something, and choosing to let that (inevitably imperfect) understanding be the governing factor in your actions. As an example - understanding fluid dynamics can in fact be quite useful in crossing a murky flooding river - it will give you valuable insight into what exactly the water may be doing that will be invisible to your senses until much later (maybe too late). But that understanding alone won't be of much value - you also have to know how to keep (and recover) your footing and equilibrium. And how to interpret the look and feel of the water so that you can figure out what you're not seeing. And recognize that even if you had 100% perfect information and understanding, that there's still just too much information for you to reason through fast enough to do any good - it's when you use your understanding to inform your intuition that it becomes truly valuable

                              And so when I say "time is a resource and allocating it is always an economic activity", I am not saying it's something that should be approached with charts and rulebooks, but rather that this is an activity that obeys certain well-defined (and moderately well understood) rules. And as with any game, you're going to play a lot better if you understand those rules and keep them in mind while you play. But your moment-to-moment decisions, as well as exactly what it means to "win", need to come from your heart and intuition.

                              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday September 01, @03:41AM (3 children)

                                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @03:41AM (#562401)

                                Semantics, as I said, highly context dependent [xkcd.com]

                                In this case, the context asserted [soylentnews.org]:

                                Time is a resource

                                and then the discussion flowed towards establishing the (limited) context in which the assertion is valid.

                                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday September 01, @01:00PM (2 children)

                                  by Immerman (3985) on Friday September 01, @01:00PM (#562478)

                                  What can you do with time other than spend it?

                                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday September 01, @10:53PM (1 child)

                                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @10:53PM (#562760)

                                    Having it (as a good/bad one)?

                                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Sunday September 03, @03:36PM

                                      by Immerman (3985) on Sunday September 03, @03:36PM (#563151)

                                      Having a good time is one of my favorite ways to spend time - but those are two rather different definitions of "time". The former refers to an internal state of mind and/or a conceptual grouping of events, the latter a finite quasi-physical resource which I'm always using it at a constant rate of 1 second per second. The former is what really matters on an individual level, and the latter is the substrate/resource from which they are made.

                                      Honestly, if I'm missing something fundamental I'd love to see it.

                • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @03:13AM (5 children)

                  by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @03:13AM (#561939)

                  Obviously - most people sell it at market rates, it's known as having a job. An exchange wherein you sell hours of your life, that you would otherwise spend with your family or doing other things you enjoy. Of course as with any resource the marginal cost increases as available resources diminish, so comparatively few people work a second job (or alternately a job with extremely long hours) because nobody is willing to pay them enough for that next hour of free time for it to be worth it to them to sell.

                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @03:33AM (4 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @03:33AM (#561944)

                    Of course as with any resource the marginal cost increases as available resources diminish, so comparatively few people work a second job (or alternately a job with extremely long hours) because nobody is willing to pay them enough for that next hour of free time for it to be worth it to them to sell.

                    Let's assume that you can command whatever price you want for your "resource time" (time you are willing to sell). Would you use your entire "life time" as a "time or sale"?
                    If your answer is in the negative, then there will be part of your "life time" that's not for sale. Would you still use mercantile terms (resource) to qualify it?
                    (because I don't. I usually call my "personal time" just that: "personal time"; and it's nobody's business to tell me how I should use it; and because it's nobody's business, it's out of the context of the "economy").

                    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @01:10PM (3 children)

                      by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @01:10PM (#562098)

                      Of course it's somebody's business: yours. And no, I absolutely would not sell my last hours of available time at any price, for the simple reason that having time to enjoy what money can buy me is the only thing that gives that money any real value. (Caveat - I might sell the entirety of a year or three of my time for a high enough price, on the assumption that I would survive to enjoy that money later.)

                      I consider time the supreme currency... well, maybe alongside attention. They are the fundamental, utterly unreplaceable assets with which *everything* in our life is ultimately paid for. Whether you're watching a movie, going for a walk, or making love - you're making an economic decision to allocate an intensely limited resource to that rather than anything else. You can sell the use of your time for money, and use the money to buy the use of other people's time in the form of products or services, saving you from spending your own time to make/do the thing directly. And thanks to specialization that's very often a very good deal. But only if the good or service will actually enrich your life more than the other ways you could have spent the time you sold to pay for it.

                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @01:53PM (1 child)

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @01:53PM (#562118)

                        Of course it's somebody's business: yours.

                        Except I don't mix business and pleasure, it's detrimental for pleasure. Thus it's not even my business.

                      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday August 31, @06:01PM

                        by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @06:01PM (#562230) Journal

                        BINGO! I was reading this whole thread thinking you guys were missing something, but I think you've just about hit it right here.

                        The value of your time varies as it becomes more or less scarce, which has already been mentioned. But the value of the thing you are being compensated with changes in the same way. Infinite money can have a value of zero if you have no time to do anything with it! And having time to yourself or your family can be compensation just as much as cash. And in fact it's commonly used that way -- companies will sometimes offer flex time or work from home as an *alternative* to increasing salaries, just like they'll offer medical care or free meals in the cafeteria or whatever else. It's all compensation, it's all value.

                        I've got this dream business I'd love to run...haven't gone out and tried to start it because I'm pretty sure I'd go bankrupt, I'm not much for advertising and business sense. But that's definitely a price at which I would sell my current life -- I wouldn't sell it for any amount of cash, but if you could give me that dream job I'd sell the entirety of my current life time in a heartbeat. And like you, I'd sell a couple years for a few million, because then I could build that business and not worry about bleeding money for years or decades. Ultimately that's what we're all doing -- we've got a dream we're working towards, and a life we're in right now, and we're trying to sell a bit of the latter for a bit of the former and hoping we can get a good deal on it.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:59AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:59AM (#561913)

                Time is a resource and it is, and will always remain, finite.

                Time is multivalent.
                Einstein will beg to disagree with your qualification of time.

                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday August 31, @08:30AM (1 child)

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @08:30AM (#562015) Journal

                  Einstein will beg to disagree with your qualification of time.

                  No. Thanks to relativity, we can shorten the time we experience between two events (by moving around quickly, or staying near a huge mass), but we cannot lengthen it. The term "time dilation" is a bit misleading in that respect; it's dilation in the sense that your clock seems to go slower as seen from another observer. Which means less time for you.

                  For example, take the famous twin paradox: The travelling twin is younger than the staying twin, which means he has spent less time between leaving and returning. There is no way for him to spend more time than the non-traveling twin. (Well, strictly speaking there is, because we happen to live ion a gravity well, so leaving the gravity well will give you a bit more time; however for earth-strength gravity, and even sun-strength gravity, that effect is negligible).

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @01:23PM

                    by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @01:23PM (#562105)

                    >Which means less time for you.

                    Not quite - it only means less time between two particular events in another reference frame. However since your clock is ticking more slowly in comparison, more such events will occur in what you measure as the same amount of time. The length of your hour is unchanged, you've only changed the synchronization between your clock and those in another reference frame.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:13AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @12:13AM (#561861)

        If it wasn't for the government I could have a house as big as I wanted for a few thousand dollars. But thanks to the government it will cost me 30-50k minimum for the PAPERWORK to produce said house.

        On the other hand if property was considered sovereign to the owner, I could put up whatever I wanted for a house, much more cheaply.

        The question then becomes: Are the government services provided worth more than the danger and freedom you would otherwise have?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @04:00PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @04:00PM (#562159)

          Improper construction can lead to fire or collapse which endangers other houses in urban or suburban locations. Even if your house is isolated there is still concern about reselling a poorly constructed home. Our government regulations are why we have safe homes, and it is what prevents your neighbor from building a 5 story home that might collapse on top of yours.

          We could argue about permit costs and how we might reduce / remove them while maintaining compliance, but I don't think you'll find much support for total deregulation.

      • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Thursday August 31, @04:47AM (3 children)

        by cubancigar11 (330) on Thursday August 31, @04:47AM (#561962) Homepage Journal

        Money is the goal because money represents resources

        No. Money represents power. Big difference. It is incorrect to think that people are greedy so they want resources. People want power. Hoarding resources is one way to gain power.

        Once you deconstruct this, you will end-up with the reality which is less judgemental and hateful. People want power because power is how you survive in this world. Because power is how you get laid.

        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @11:14AM (2 children)

          I got laid just fine as a broke-ass teenager. Fact: project absolute self-confidence and you will get laid as often as you want to. Doesn't matter if you're broke, ugly, an asshole, or anything else.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by urza9814 on Thursday August 31, @06:10PM

            by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @06:10PM (#562231) Journal

            In other words, if you act like you have power, you can sometimes fool people into behaving as though you do.

            Or, perhaps you simply had more power than you realize -- money is one form of power, but it certainly isn't the only one.

          • (Score: 2) by cubancigar11 on Friday September 01, @04:52AM

            by cubancigar11 (330) on Friday September 01, @04:52AM (#562410) Homepage Journal

            Exactly what urza9814 said. To put in other words, did you get to fuck one of those standards of beauty, The Natalie Portmans and the Scarlett Johanssons? There is no amount of confidence that was ever going to get you laid, except if through some chance they wanted to give you pity sex. Pity sex is not a survival tactic and definitely not something upon which a system can be built.

            Ultimately we are driven by same brain that is similar in all of us and has some very basic functions. Whether you find beauty in Cleopetra or code, it is the same part of brain getting activated and same hormones rushing all over. At the end, we live in a power-structured world.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday August 31, @04:22PM (4 children)

        by DannyB (5839) on Thursday August 31, @04:22PM (#562164)

        Largely, I agree. Greed is not only because of limited resources. Extreme greed, hoarding vast obscene amounts of wealth is a sickness. It has to do with wanting to control other people's lives. Not about ensuring one's own next meal, clothing and shelter, and for one's offspring.

        being greedy apes, want more resources, and resources are scarce, and likely always will be unless we all start living in The Matrix or something.

        I would just point out what Agent Smith said: "Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world where none suffered, where everyone would be happy? It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed that we lacked the programming language to describe your "perfect world". But I believe that, as a species human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. So the perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from."

        Maybe our greedy ape minds already are in the matrix, and resources are scarce.

        Even in the Star Trek "post scarcity" future, there's only so much good real estate around . . . . We'd have to somehow transition to a society where people simply don't want to hoard land and are Ok with everyone having a small condo and going to public parks and pools.

        Maybe in a post-scarcity future, NOBODY should be able to own a private forest. What makes them more special than anyone else?

        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @04:56PM (3 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @04:56PM (#562182)

          Extreme greed, hoarding vast obscene amounts of wealth is a sickness. It has to do with wanting to control other people's lives.

          I disagree; it has to do with wanting control over your own life. For instance, if I want my own private island, that's not because I want to control other peoples' lives, it's because I want to have a place where I can be away from other people while still enjoying nature, and not having to put up with the problems that come with sharing with other people.

          Maybe in a post-scarcity future, NOBODY should be able to own a private forest.

          Then it's not really "post-scarcity" is it, if private forests are scarce. If you're going to place limits on the resources people are allowed to have control of, then we can easily achieve this "post-scarcity" civilization right now, by adopting Stalinism: just give everyone a crappy dingy little concrete-block apartment, some crappy food, their choice of 2 different shoes, etc. We'll have a powerful central government manage all the resources and factories, and decide how to ration stuff. I don't think this is what people are thinking of as a future utopia.

          • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday August 31, @06:16PM (2 children)

            by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @06:16PM (#562233) Journal

            I disagree; it has to do with wanting control over your own life. For instance, if I want my own private island, that's not because I want to control other peoples' lives, it's because I want to have a place where I can be away from other people while still enjoying nature, and not having to put up with the problems that come with sharing with other people.

            So you don't want to control other people, you just want to make sure you can limit their movement in and around your island...? "Leave me the fuck alone" is still a command...

            Although I also suspect you'd also want to be able to encourage people to bring you food and water and computing equipment at least... :)

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @06:28PM (1 child)

              by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @06:28PM (#562239)

              So you don't want to control other people, you just want to make sure you can limit their movement in and around your island...? "Leave me the fuck alone" is still a command...

              Although I also suspect you'd also want to be able to encourage people to bring you food and water and computing equipment at least... :)

              I fail to see how this is different from having a tiny apartment and not wanting to share it with several dozen random people. Would you open your home to anyone at all who wants to live there with you? Even if they don't feel like paying rent? And if they want to sleep in your bed too?

              Almost everyone wants personal living space, and doesn't want to share it with others not of their choosing. The question is how much space should people have, and how much should they prefer.

              In my own bedroom, "leave me the fuck alone" doesn't seem to be an unreasonable expectation. But what if we lived in a world that looked like "Soylent Green", or that episode of Star Trek TOS about the Gideons (the ridiculously overpopulated world where they tricked Kirk into beaming down to an exact replica of the Enterprise, with the goal being to get him to infect the population with a disease he was a carrier of so they could reduce the population)? So if we're talking about a world where resources are allegedly *not* scarce, then why is it unreasonable to have my own island or forest? If that's unreasonable, then the resources really are scarce.

              And back to this crazy idea of controlling other peoples' lives, do you think it's "controlling" to not want random strangers to crawl into bed with you? Or come into your bedroom? Or come into your house/apartment? If you do, I question your basic humanity.

              • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday September 01, @12:15PM

                by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @12:15PM (#562472) Journal

                Yes, I absolutely do want that small level of power over others. I'm not the one who said I didn't. I think having some tiny area in which I have that control is perfectly reasonable.

                I'm just being a bit pedantic...but with a point, I think -- you say wealth isn't about control, and I'm trying to point out that everything you could possibly buy with that wealth can still be seen as a way of controlling others. That doesn't mean it's always unreasonable...but I think if the amount of wealth is unreasonable, the amount of control probably is too.

    • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Wednesday August 30, @09:15PM (40 children)

      by vux984 (5045) on Wednesday August 30, @09:15PM (#561729)

      One day humanity will evolve and economics will simply be about efficient resource allocation.

      I live in a lovely condo, end unit, next to a greenspace, great light, larger back yard, more privacy... my neighbor wishes they had my unit. And that is tiny microcosm. I don't see how we can ever all even all have the nice end unit next to a greenspace, let alone Grishakh's fantastic private estate. Even if we reach a post scarcity with respect to energy, food, clean water, etc... there's only so much real estate to go around. And while we all want different things from our homes, most of us generally want the same general things and I don't see how we can ever acheive post scarcity.

      People would have to stop wanting nice views, private beaches (or even proximaty to beaches), temperate climate, beautifal parks, etc. I'm not sure if people evolved to that point that they'd be people anymore. Maybe if we were brains in jars in VR we could all have a private paradise... but wouldn't we still be envious of the richest brains in jars who could leave VR and see a "real beach" from time to time?

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @09:43PM (38 children)

        by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @09:43PM (#561761)

        Your neighbor might want your unit, but they're probably not miserable in their current one. If you try to minimize misery rather than maximize happiness you end up with a much more sustainable outcome.

        --
        -Love, ants_in_pants
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:51PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @10:51PM (#561797)

          That's some outlook on life you have.
          Old hippie? Buddhist? Socialist parents?

          -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

          • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Thursday August 31, @12:09AM (5 children)

            by ants_in_pants (6665) on Thursday August 31, @12:09AM (#561859)

            Why is it so interesting? I just think that it's a lot easier to alleviate suffering than it is to make someone perfectly content, and the net benefit is the same.

            --
            -Love, ants_in_pants
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:27AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:27AM (#561903)

              I'm not challenging your positions.
              I'm just wondering how you got to where you are philosophically.

              I'm the most outspoken Socialist in this joint;
              the son of a career military officer, raised in a smallish town in The South, no less.
              I've always questioned authority/the status quo.

              Moving to (more Progressive) California seemed a natural direction for me.
              Discovering Pacifica Radio here made that like finding my natural habitat.
              Similar deal for the World Socialist Web Site, more recently.

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by shortscreen on Thursday August 31, @05:08AM (3 children)

              by shortscreen (2252) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @05:08AM (#561968) Journal

              I think you are setting a pretty low bar. How much misery or suffering would there be if everyone were dead?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @05:47AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @05:47AM (#561978)

                There'd be quite a bit misery and suffering in getting everyone there.

                • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday August 31, @08:37AM (1 child)

                  by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @08:37AM (#562016) Journal

                  Imagine you had the ability to create a planet-wide killer wave that moves at the speed of light and immediately destroys every molecule it passes. When applying that, nobody will even notice that he is killed; people (and everything else) will just suddenly stop existing. Application of that killer wave to the planet would obviously end all suffering, but would cause zero suffering on its own. Would you therefore advocate its application?

                  --
                  The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
                  • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Thursday August 31, @05:10PM

                    by ants_in_pants (6665) on Thursday August 31, @05:10PM (#562193)

                    I wouldn't violate everyone's autonomy that way. Obviously you can't only apply that one maxim and solve all ethical problems.

                    --
                    -Love, ants_in_pants
        • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday August 30, @11:21PM (22 children)

          See? I tell you lot that socialists aren't interested in making the poor not poor but instead on dragging everyone else down to poverty and do you listen? Well, there you have it right out of one of their mouths.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Wednesday August 30, @11:28PM

            by ants_in_pants (6665) on Wednesday August 30, @11:28PM (#561827)

            yes, because a generalized statement that is a slightly modified version of utilitarian ethics is an admission of "I want everyone to be poor"

            --
            -Love, ants_in_pants
          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:30PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 30, @11:30PM (#561829)

            Having all you needs met is NOT poverty, nitwit.

            ...and doing whatever is necessary to get all that you WANT is called GREED.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday August 30, @11:58PM

              Yes, it is. Check the US poverty line. It's above "having all your needs met" in most areas of the nation. Unless you go by your own special version of what constitutes "needs".

              --
              Save Ferris!
            • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 31, @01:27PM

              by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 31, @01:27PM (#562107)

              Worse than that it's also impossible. Unchecked desire expands to exceed any amount of satisfaction. The only way to get everything you want, is to choose to desire only what you already have.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Wednesday August 30, @11:47PM (4 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 30, @11:47PM (#561838)

            The other side of the coin is: "I ain't rich enough if you ain't dirt-poor" - because if you aren't dirt-poor and dependent, you may decide that you have enough and I can longer control you.

            If I can't control enough of the society, it makes no difference I'm millionaire (today) or billionaire or trilionaire. These numbers only start to make sense when if comes to "how many others I can have control over".

            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @12:00AM (3 children)

              Project much? I'm doing quite well for myself and I couldn't give a rat's happy ass about having power over anyone else.

              --
              Save Ferris!
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday August 31, @12:25AM

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @12:25AM (#561870)

                Project much?

                Nope.
                Just putting it the same amount of exaggeration as you when you present the "socialists".

                (and my apologies for not being explicit about: when I used "you" and "me/I", I meant an "impersonal you/me/I" - replace them with X/Y as abstract notations if you like).

              • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Thursday August 31, @11:33PM (1 child)

                by aristarchus (2645) on Thursday August 31, @11:33PM (#562345) Journal

                Please, please, Mr. Buzzard! Since you don't want to have power over any one, could you see your way to stop blocking aristarchus from modding comments? He would very much like to participate in this thread!

                --
                guess who was the worst moderator on site, handing out more than twice the downmods of the next closest registered user
          • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Thursday August 31, @12:45AM (12 children)

            by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @12:45AM (#561881) Homepage Journal

            I see it as not 'dragging everyone else down to poverty': i see it as, "don't treat people like shit just to make you a dollar more. don't rape the environment for same. don't be so greedy that you have more money in the bank than some countries and yet you lay off people who helped you make that money when you 'start to lose money'.

            I see it as more of treating people as being of worth, not treating them as worthless in order to make 'one more dollar'.

            Does Bill Gates really need more money to the point where he would lay people off in order to make it? (Yes i know he is no longer 'in charge' of MS, but you know he still holds power there); the same people who helped him make his millions BILLIONS?

            I just don't see it: yes, i want a nice life, but do i really need 89.2 billion dollars and treat people like shit in order to increase it?

            His philanthropy is a joke: he gives out free medicine to people while investing in businesses that pollute the air, ground and water around those people.

            Just doesn't make sense to me.

            --
            --- That's not flying: that's... falling... with more luck than I have. ---
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @12:56AM (7 children)

              Most people, even rich people, don't have Gates's level of hubris. He thinks he needs the money because he needs the power to change things because only he has the correct solution. Thus have tyrants always been created.

              I've never in my life treated an employee as shit and I've done quite well for myself. My roomie currently works for a company that pays him to sit on his ass three weeks out of four. He was actually told in his job interview to keep a fishing pole on his company truck that he gets personal use of and the gas paid for in.

              Not all capitalists feel the need to treat employees poorly. The trick is you need to enable people who aren't rat bastards to compete with the rat bastards. Then it's a simple matter of if you're a shitty employer, you can't keep employees.

              --
              Save Ferris!
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @02:02AM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @02:02AM (#561914)

                Not all capitalists feel the need to treat employees poorly

                You're reminding me of Aaron Feuerstein. [cbsnews.com]
                When his factory burned down, all those workers who had been so loyal to him for so many years he kept on salary while he figured out how to rebuild IN THE SAME TOWN.

                ...though the reason these stand out is that they are so rare.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

                • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday August 31, @02:18AM (2 children)

                  They're really not. Most SMBs are run by decent human beings. You have to go to big corporations to be treated like shit for the most part.

                  --
                  Save Ferris!
                  • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @05:03PM

                    by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @05:03PM (#562188)

                    They're really not. Most SMBs are run by decent human beings.

                    That's not what I've observed at all. It's really more of a mixed bag. At least with the big corporations, they're more consistent in their treatment; you won't get really great treatment, but you won't usually be totally fucked over for no reason at all. Big companies are risk-averse and have deep pockets that lawyers like to go after, so they develop practices and policies to avoid risk, so you get stuff like harassment training and policies against harassment, specific policies for lay-offs, etc. At small companies you can be harassed and have no real recourse besides quitting because they don't have enough assets to go after, and they can violate employment law more easily because again you won't profit off a lawsuit so it's generally not worth your time to sue.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @06:23PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @06:23PM (#562237)

                    Hahahah, maybe overall that statistic holds out, but I believe there is a significant percentage of SMBs that don't treat their employees very well. A large part of it is that SMBs have been squeezed by big corporations and they often can not afford to treat their workers well. Also, a good percentage are shitty bosses who overwork their employees and violate labor laws.

              • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday August 31, @03:15PM (2 children)

                by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @03:15PM (#562144)

                Most people, even rich people, don't have Gates's level of hubris. He thinks he needs the money because he needs the power to change things because only he has the correct solution. Thus have tyrants always been created.

                To be fair, this is not an illogical viewpoint. Look at what happens when the masses have the power to choose their leaders: you get people like Trump elected, or worse. Hitler was elected too, remember. Too much democracy ends up in mob rule; that's why democratic republics have all kinds of mechanisms built-in to avoid this (like having an appointed, unfireable judiciary as a check on the other branches). And people in general are terrible at managing shared resources, which is why we have the phrase "tragedy of the commons" (e.g. if some grazing pasture is available to everyone in an agrarian society, they'll all graze their sheep there but not take care of it and pretty soon there's no grass left). People are generally very bad at working collectively for the greater good. The tyrants are right: the people are too stupid and disorganized. The problem is that the tyrants frequently don't have the correct solution, or are themselves greedy, selfish, and/or corrupt, so they don't do any better.

                With Gates, it seems like his deal is to give out free "charity", but then attach strings requiring recipients to buy Microsoft licenses and use MS products.

                He was actually told in his job interview to keep a fishing pole on his company truck that he gets personal use of and the gas paid for in.

                Wow, that sounds pretty horrible actually. If they let him work on personal projects on work time, that'd be good, but the last thing I want to do is fish. I'd rather work. I was talking to my sister about this recently, and she commented that fishing is one of those things that people either really like, or really really hate.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:06AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @01:06AM (#561893)

              There's a story that Hollywood has filmed again and again because it rings true, generation after generation.

              Spending those ridiculous amounts of money on actual goods is actually difficult. [google.com]

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

        • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Thursday August 31, @12:36AM (7 children)

          by vux984 (5045) on Thursday August 31, @12:36AM (#561877)

          Your neighbor might want your unit, but they're probably not miserable in their current one.

          No. But the people living in the shitty slum apartments several blocks away are. Should I have to take one in, and suite out my basement? That'd be a nice upgrade for them, but a downgrade for me. I still wouldn't be 'miserable'; i'd still have more space to myself and a nicer place than my last condo as I wasn't "miserable" there either.

          If you try to minimize misery rather than maximize happiness you end up with a much more sustainable outcome.

          I'm not sure striving for least misery works. It feels like it would reduce my standard of living to 'just a hair above misery' and hold it there; because if I get any happier than that, I should sacrifice something to move someone else up.

          • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Thursday August 31, @05:25PM (6 children)

            by ants_in_pants (6665) on Thursday August 31, @05:25PM (#562205)

            What's up with all this zero-sum thinking? It's not like that. The resources are there to improve basically everyone's lives, what's lacking is the logistics to adequately do it. And when I say the logistics are lacking, I mean that our current economic system is not intended to address it at all.

            Nobody needs to move in with you. Vacant homes abound, tenement blocks can be fixed up, neighborhoods can be cleaned.

            --
            -Love, ants_in_pants
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @06:26PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @06:26PM (#562238)

              Their mental process is operating under the assumptions of capitalism and the examples of dictatorships-as-socialism models that inevitably fail. They never latch on to the examples where socialist practices work (Mondragon, many coop / worker owned businesses in the US, etc.) because those examples violate their personal assumptions of how the world works. They bury their heads in the sand because facing how bad the US has gotten is a tough pill to swallow. RED PILL YOURSELVES MOTHERFUCKERS :D :D :D

            • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Thursday August 31, @07:04PM (4 children)

              by vux984 (5045) on Thursday August 31, @07:04PM (#562254)

              Vacant homes abound, tenement blocks can be fixed up, neighborhoods can be cleaned.

              All at no cost or sacrifice to the people who own them, or the people with money?

              Nobody needs to move in with you

              Literally not. But metaphorically I still need to pay to fix up their neighborhoods, pay to repair their tenement homes, and take a loss to give them vacant homes I am not using. (as I own shares in the banks that own the properties I'm guessing...)

              Look, I am not a libertarian, I agree with social welfare programs, and I happily pay taxes to help with welfare, unemployment, low income housing initiatives. I support universal healthcare, and I support paying taxes to pay for it. I am not against taxes to help others. However, to 'minimise misery' what are you proposing? 100% taxes and complete wealth redistribution? That's not going to work. Otherwise, we just have regular old capitalism with tax payer funded social programs. But it sounds like you want a paradigm shift. So what is that paradigm shift?

              And after we make it, how do we decide who gets to live in the mansion by the lake, and who gets to live in a fixed up tenement block?

              • (Score: 1) by ants_in_pants on Thursday August 31, @07:46PM (3 children)

                by ants_in_pants (6665) on Thursday August 31, @07:46PM (#562276)

                All at no cost or sacrifice to the people who own them, or the people with money?

                Oh yes, lament for the landlord!

                However, to 'minimise misery' what are you proposing? 100% taxes and complete wealth redistribution?

                Me, personally? The abolition of money and the state.

                And after we make it, how do we decide who gets to live in the mansion by the lake, and who gets to live in a fixed up tenement block?

                democratically.

                --
                -Love, ants_in_pants
                • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Friday September 01, @02:04PM

                  by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Friday September 01, @02:04PM (#562504)

                  abolition of money and the state.

                  democratically.

                  So, money is gone, and the state is gone. Your democracy votes for X, 60% to 40%.

                  Why is the 40% group going to pay any attention to the outcome of the vote?

                  --
                  "Anti-virus" is proof that fundamental problems remain unsolved. Yet we will trust our lives to self driving cars.
                • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Saturday September 02, @01:54AM

                  by vux984 (5045) on Saturday September 02, @01:54AM (#562810)

                  Oh yes, lament for the landlord!

                  Is your proposal then to simply take the property from its owners ... presumably by force? I thought I wasn't going to have share my condo in your utopia? Now it seems if 5+ miserable people want to move in with me to improve their lot in life, now its up to a simple majority vote?

                  The abolition of money and the state.

                  Replacing it with what? By what mechanism are people going to efficiently and equitably distribute resources that are inhenrently scarce? Even if energy and food can be produced sufficiently that we can each all have as much as we want, there is still only so much beachfront to go around.

                  democratically.

                  With no state? Who holds the elections? Who certifies the results? Who enforces the outcome? What if I decide 'fuck democracy' and just take the mansion by the lake?

                  Wait... you're not the "contracts guy" are you?? :p

                • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Saturday September 02, @02:20PM

                  by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Saturday September 02, @02:20PM (#562921)

                  So here we see that ants_in_pants spouts unmitigated nonsense that apparently cannot be defended when shown how absurd it is.

                  That's OK, it happens to many of us while we are still so young that we haven't yet seen our fantasies collide with reality. Think it through, read, grow up, discuss... clarity will come eventually to most.

                  --
                  "Anti-virus" is proof that fundamental problems remain unsolved. Yet we will trust our lives to self driving cars.
      • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday August 31, @06:22PM

        by urza9814 (3954) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 31, @06:22PM (#562236) Journal

        People would have to stop wanting nice views, private beaches (or even proximaty to beaches), temperate climate, beautifal parks, etc. I'm not sure if people evolved to that point that they'd be people anymore. Maybe if we were brains in jars in VR we could all have a private paradise... but wouldn't we still be envious of the richest brains in jars who could leave VR and see a "real beach" from time to time?

        You sound like my mother...always going on about how I've lived in Rhode Island for five years and I've never been to a beach. I mean I did go once...but meh...they're highly overrated IMO. You can have the beach, I'd be fine in the middle of Oklahoma if it weren't for the people who currently live there ;)

        A park with some woods would be nice, but I'm perfectly happy sharing that just like I do right now. Not like I'm out there every day...or even every week. The only thing my one bedroom apartment is missing is somewhere that I can use loud power tools without pissing off the neighbors. And permission to rip holes in the walls if I want to rearrange some stuff. And maybe an outdoor power outlet to charge an electric car, I'd like one of those someday...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @07:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 31, @07:10PM (#562257)

      "Open source all your software and some assholes will be able to undercut your business and screw over your hard work."

      not necessarily. your model has to account for the realities of the world. If you open source your software but have a closed source business model than you will get the worst of both worlds. Alternatively, if your business/funding model consists of a donate button then you are likely to remain impoverished.

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