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What if……?

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  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 07:40am

    #11
    SamLinder

    SamLinder

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    Re: What if……?

>>so we’re screwed….  is that what you’re all saying?

Not really. It’s more a case of: we all like the idea in theory – we just don’t think it can work in reality.

Your suggestions, while altruistic and appealing, don’t take into account the ugliness of human nature. I once read all of Ayn Rand’s books and thought what a wonderful concept she put forth. Subsequent years showed me that Ayn Rand was also an optimist. Her characters exhibited fine morals and ethics and would always do the right thing. The reality of today’s world (see Wall Street and the automakers) proves that her stories were just that – stories. The real world is much, much crueler, greedy, and vicious.

Futuo stated in part: "Now, this could possibly work in a perfect sized community isolated
from the world, but not for long. It’s a very utopian world that I
wouldn’t mind living in, that definitely could be done. The annoying
part is, it won’t happen."

In one of Ayn Rand’s books, she had a number of her characters slip away to a hidden village where everyone was ethical and the village lived on a gold standard. It has been so long since I read that story that I don’t remember the name of the book (was it "Atlas Shrugged" ?) nor much of the details. What I do remember was that it sounded just like what Futuo described.

Maybe that’s what we should all do – start our own version of Shangri-la!

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 07:46am

    #12

    krogoth

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    Re: What if……?

The trash problem is easy to solve. It’s done on a rotational basis, like for 2-4 weeks you leave your regular job and do trash duty once a year, or some other dirty job. That will also be a good reminder of how much waste is being made, how much you hate trash duty, and how you will consume less to make the next time you need to do trash duty or another dirty job easier. Every able bodied man and woman 16 years or above does this duty. if in High School, it’s scheduled over summer break.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 08:00am

    #13

    Damnthematrix

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    Re: What if……?

I wish I’d thought of that….! 

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 08:03am

    #14

    Damnthematrix

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    Re: What if……?

[quote=srlinder]

>>so we’re screwed…. is that what you’re all saying?

Not really. It’s more a case of: we all like the idea in theory – we just don’t think it can work in reality.

Your suggestions, while altruistic and appealing, don’t take into account the ugliness of human nature.<SNIP>

[/quote]

OK, here’s my fall-back…

At times of disasters and war, people who would not normally co operate that well end up doing exactly that.  I put it to you that the times we now face are somewhat equivalent… 

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 08:51am

    #15

    caroline_culbert

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    Re: What if……?

[quote=Damnthematrix]

But joe…..  you wouldn’t need the money I owed you…  THAT is the point.

Re trash, We don’t produce much at all here…  put out the trash can every 6 or 8 weeks, and trash shouldn’t smell anyhow…  if it’s going to stink it should be composted.

Think of all the possibilities for people like me to teach sustainability, FOR FREE, so you guys can generate a whole lot less trash.

The problem is the solution, a good old premaculture saying… 

[/quote]

 

I completely agree!  It took me a minute to digest this information, after my prof. suggested this to me (awhile ago), but then I said to myself… why not?

The only hiccup I see with this theory is regarding:

1. Self generators/initiators, i.e., how will I trust you to work (for free) after I have put in my share of free work?

2. Sustaining the labor force… what will motivate everyone to continue to work (for free)

3. Are we prepared to extend our free labor and work overtime (for free) to educate those who do not have any particular relevant skills (such as those in the urban population that need extreme supplements to education)?

4. So much of what we (here on this site) have learned is only by way of our level and type of thinking (i.e. much is learned through years of conditioning)… How do you transform lazy people into productive people?  There are so many whose way of life is by scamming people within the system.  How could we change that?

5.  How would punish and/or reject those that refuse to enter this type of system? 

6.  I still completely agree with you, and I think it will take years if not decades to infuse this type of lateral thinking into our education at school and at home.

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 09:04am

    #16

    caroline_culbert

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    Re: What if……?

[quote=srlinder]

Unfortunately, you forget that basic human nature is just not like that.

[/quote]

I disagree.  I think human nature is whatever we are and whatever we become.  If that mean we become, ‘x’, then ‘x’ will define "human nature".  I do not believe that we can ever encompass the nature of humans since our nature is not static.  I think we change and evolve, physically and mentally, all the time.  We may have once been beasts, in the beginning, but look where we are now?  We have transformed, even slightly, into thinking more outside the box.  I think that education is the primary reason for this.  My son is five.  He makes the most interesting "things" with his legos.  Once he built something that imitated Wall-E, but today he made something that "finds things after scanning it"– whatever that means whithin his five year old brain.  He builds new things every day and sometimes more than five times a day.  What’s remarkable is that he encounters no competition for the improvements of his imagination… I mention the above because many people find that competition is necessary for development and thus part of "human nature".  I would have to disagree (only within my limited observations with an only child).  It is very wonderful to see such a creature mold into what I would like to create.  He is still a ball of clay, and always will consiste of the building blocks of matter that he was born into, but I can mold him into one of the finest pieces of art.  So, today, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what his "human nature" will be like as he gets older. 

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 09:33am

    #17

    caroline_culbert

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    Re: What if……?

[quote=srlinder]

Matrix,

You presume that everyone would be as altruistic as you – taking only what they need, creating food gardens for self-sufficiency, working with, and for, their fellow man.

[/quote]

Actually, everything we do is within our self-interest; even cooperation…. I have to say that "altruism" is a very misleading term.  I’ll try to give you an example you might understand.  Now answer these questions to yourself and find out, at what moment, you’d consider yourself altruistic.

1.  Your child, of 8, is about to fall over a bridge.

2.  The bridge is 200 feet up.

3.  Below you and he bridge lies a concrete slab full of tall, sharply pointed objects resembling tall knives.

4.  Your child falls over the railing.

5.  You race after the child only to grab his feet.

6.  The weight of his body pulls both of you over the ledge.

7.  While still holding his feet you lock your feet within the rails to keep from falling to your deaths.

8.  Your feet are slipping because the weight of both of you is too much… if only you had the use of your hands.

9.  You have approx. 30 seconds left, to make your decision; will you both fall at a 99% probability of death, or will you let him go knowing you have a 88% probability of lifting yourself up to capture the rail with your free hands and living?

10.  At what point can you be altruistic?

–I say there is no such thing as altruism; now… answer these questions and you’ll find out what the reasons are for your fate.

1.  If you chose death, with your son, why?

2.  If you chose to live, without your son, why?

….

…the term "selfish" here is used with no connotations—

If your answer contains anything regarding yourself, then your primary reason rested upon selfishness.

1.  I chose death because I would not have a reason to live it I didn’t go with him… it would’ve been the end of me. [This is selfish because you based this decision on YOUR own reasoning…]

2.  I chose to live because he wouldn’t have wanted us both to die–  [again… you reasoning was based on all you know, and that is based on how YOU feel and how YOU might think others think of YOU.

Everything YOU do is based on YOUR own thoughts and thus YOUR OWN reasoning which makes your primary reason based on self (or selfishness)— even in the case of #1 which you believed to be "altruistic".

Selfishness is the primary or apex within the altruistic pyramid.  You cannot have altruism without selfishness.  You can have selfishness without altruism.

—————————————

So I guess, after all of this, I believe cooperation is purely selfish for every one of us.  The better we are at cooperating, the better changes we have at surviving, and the better chance we have of prolonging the lives of our children, thus giving the continuation of my life and the life of my children.  Selfish?  Sure–  it’s in our genes.

Good book to read is "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins.

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 12:47pm

    #18

    Xanb

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    Re: What if……?

Matrix, you are right. A world without money is worth considering. Money is a good invention to solve the problem of transactions. Unfortunately, money is not a tool anymore; it’s an end to everything. In a digital era we have other means to perform transactions.

 

Considering that we can replace the monetary system with something else, a world without money would solve some big problems:

         no more banks and financial institutions

         no more financial gains out of thin air

         no more taxes

         no more bribery and corruption

         no more theft

         no more rent on properties

         no more inheritance

         no more power of the super rich

         no more worries about pensions, disability, etc.

         no more worries about loosing wealth

         no more restrictions in promoting culture and science because of copyright

         less lawyers Smile

The list can go on and on. It is still worth trying to find a way out of the system only by thinking about the above advantages.

 

Now, consider a system in which each person has a value according to their achievements (skills, education, amount of work, value added to the community, world, popularity, etc). This value is non-transferable and disappears with the person’s death. Let’s call it ‘reputation’. Normally it should grow but it also can shrink when the person does harm. ‘Reputation’ is a number that allows the owner to have some benefits over those with lower numbers. It should also allow more decision power.

 

What if local communities start organizing themselves and then cooperate mostly with similar communities? Do you think if we ignore corporations and governments, one day they will disappear?

 

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 02:12pm

    #19
    barrt

    barrt

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    Re: What if……?

 

a nice idea and one that has been thought through at http://www.thevenusproject.com

(if you havent heard of that then you might enjoy www.zeitgeistmovie.com )

But this work for free idea i think will certainly have its day on a grander and grander scale, but as others have said above you soon run into difficulties, one possible solution to those is local currenices: http://www.openmoney.info/ 

Hey Matrix ill trade you some help with your websites (if you have any?) for some advice on helping me going solar? Cool

  • Wed, Dec 03, 2008 - 02:41pm

    #20
    emdiaz

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    Re: What if……?

We all would love to leave in a place where everything is free but there are more jobs that are hard that jobs than are easy who gets to pick and while they are picking is that their jobs.  If everything is free then you do not need most of the easy jobs.  A lot of things will become harder to do because who is going to work to invent & make the things that makes our life easy. Who is going to work in the factories so Matrix can use the lawn mower?   You can see that this doesn’t work with all the people that have a partnership and then realize than the other person wanted the profits and not the work.   This is what you have in Cuba to some extent.  No kids wanted to go to the country to plant and now they do not have food.  I have stories a lot of sad stories of why it doesn’t work.  People will end up stealing your fruits and vegetables so they do not have to work as they play games and drink their homemade wine and beer.  Who is going to make the clothes, shoes, watches?    It wills no matter if everything is for free because you will not have anything to get.  They will always be a government that will manage people times to do the hard job and they will have the easy jobs while others have the hard jobs.

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