AuthorTopic: Malthus to China Potpourri  (Read 39850 times)

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #165 on: July 28, 2012, 05:38:35 PM »
[snip]
 ....The AC grid would be totally separate from this and only used basically to
run things that are on 24/7 (e.g. refrigerators, freezers, security systems, etc.).
This would eliminate the load balancing headache every AC utility now has when
gobs of people tie into the grid with rooftop PV and/or wind power from farmers.
The feast or famine nature of wind and solar won't be so hard to deal with.
Sounds like a good idea.

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At any rate, I hope the Chinese start looking at DC. It has it's hazards but it's
much more benign ... [snip] ... I just shake my head thinking that we are
planning this stuff, the Chinese have already installed far more than that on
rooftops in the last decade.
Yep. Racing ahead.

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since you have been at this thought process of deciding what the proper
decentralized vs centralized (government utility - not corporate) scaled up
power generation mix, have you given any thought on hybrid systems that
use DC while using some AC from the grid separately? What do you think?
AG, I have little knowledge of that technical issue -- not enough to justify
expressing an opinion.  What you're suggesting sounds sensible, but
I don't know enough to say much. However, with some diligent bing
searching, I'm sure that you or I could find someone who is thoroughly
familiar with the issues, and probably who has already drafted detailed
technical writeups on the subject.  The world is filled with amazing,
smart people, and we can find them in 1/1,000th of the time that it used
to take.

A

Offline agelbert

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #166 on: July 28, 2012, 05:55:55 PM »
Alan,
How true. On the internet I have learned far more than I ever did in college. I'll have do some more reading on DC vs AC. I'm always looking for inexpensive ways to do things.  :icon_mrgreen:
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Faith,
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Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #167 on: July 28, 2012, 06:44:48 PM »
1.  Does quantity automatically lessen quality? Why do you say "quantity OVER quality"?
Does it have to be "over", or can it just be along-side? Leaving aside the "over quality"
part, I have to agree with the conventional view favoring quantity of life. I'm pro-life,
while at the same time favoring women's right to choose, of course.
no, of course it doesn't have to be 'over,' but from any non-dysfunctional
 metaphysical perspective it clearly is when it comes to homo industrialis. you can't
just cherry-pick future mosquito nets and malaria vaccines and a fictional steady-state
ethos and whatever average lifespan that appeals to you.
I don't have to cherry-pick any future thing; I've got RIGHT NOW things.
Mosquito nets and vaccines (that save millions of lives) are real. Long lifespans
are real. These are real accomplishments.

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what you see is what you get. and what we have is permanent oligarchy. where
does your anarchism fit-in with the neo-'Progress' of the chinese FYPs?
It doesn't, I admit. I've been forced to question many of my inner dogmas over
the last 10 years, and this is one of them. I've been forced to admit that maybe
large-scale central planning IS good under some circumstances, particularly for
underdeveloped nations. Russia accomplished something very similar to China:
dramatic improvement of the lot of the mass of the people, in a very short
time, while emerging from miserable poverty (and in Russia's case, while
prosecuting a desperate, epochal war!). Quite amazing. And impossible without
heavy-duty, centralized, authoritarian control. Maybe it could have been done
some other way. I'm all ears.

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(have you read part 2 of RE's LPWP series? BTW - you'll like his uncharacteristically
rosy part 3. [sorry, i'm offline so no link.])
No. What is "LPWP"?  Would be nice to have a link.

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i ask because, despite your anarchist preface at the beginning of this thread, you
appear, in your enthiusiasms, to relish compartmentalizing it in favor of, when
we get down to brass tacks, drop-in-the-bucket geoengineering.
My "anarchist preface"?  Where was that?

Reply #1 on page 1 (by me):
"I think there is plenty of room for a variety of initiatives at multiple
levels. Some things should be done in decentralized fashion; other
things require rather large-scale, capital-intensive effort.  Computer chips,
for example, cannot be made in our garages (though if they COULD be,
I would welcome that)." ---  Doesn't sound all that "anarchistic" or
fanatically decentralist to me.

Do I "relish" large-scale geoengineering projects?  No. But some
of them are necessary.  It is not all going to happen in a perfectly
decentralized way.  Nice if it did, but it won't.

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favoring quantity of life in and of itself does is not what is perjoratively
conventional.
Huh?

Would you please take just a little longer to write your messages,
develop your sentences a little better, and improve the formatting?

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2. At what cost? -- I know what you're saying, and I hate the way things have been
set up, so that every developed-world human life winds up costing mega-tons of
resources (unnecessarily), and also makes life more difficult (even impossible) for some
species, such as other large mammals and fish. Note well the "unnecessarily", however.
In other words, this can be changed, and on some fronts it is being changed, ALL TOO
SLOWLY, but there is some change; I'm looking forward to more of such change.  Some
(TOO FEW) of the bad effects of humans on the rest of the biosphere have been
mitigated in recent decades.  Much as I don't approve of the methods of the Green
Revolution, I have to admit (facts compel me) that it has resulted in more total biomass
on earth, which is good.  I note also that the erosion of forested land worldwide has
been slowed quite a lot over the last 2 decades, and reversed in some areas. The
progress on these fronts is much too slow for my taste; and yet, I have to admit that
there is at least some awareness and action in the right direction. I can also see that
it is well within the potential of humans to do much better. We're a smart specie. Those
big brains took a long time to evolve, and we COULD use them to do more building and
healing.  To return for just a moment to one theme of this thread: the Chinese example
of large-scale ecological restoration is quite inspiring in this regard.
why is more biomass but less diversity a good thing?
I didn't say less diversity is a good thing. I said more biomass is a good
thing. I favor more biomass, generally. I also favor diversity. They are not
incompatible, but complementary, usually. It is true that monocultures
develop biomass with less biodiversity; this is not good, but it is better
than no biomass at all. If the ONLY way to reclaim desertified areas were
to sew monocultures, then I would favor it. We need more biomass of
all kinds, particularly non-human. Trees, grasses, amphibians, arthropods,
mammals, unicellular organisms, ALL of it.  I'm pro-life.

Yes, the Green Revolution sucked in many respects; low diversity was
one of them. But it also had some good aspects. Acknowledging the
good aspects will not cause you to dry up and blow away, and it does
not undermine your higher and better principles.

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i think "restoration" is a very poor choice when talking about forest management.
forest management isn't remotely inspiring with boardfeet in the lexicon.[/color]
OK. Whatever you call it, there's more trees growing than there were. That's
good. It absorbs CO2. It freshens the air. It holds water in the soil. It creates
habitats for many creatures. It is GOOD.

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why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly
incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been
allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P

What are you saying?  I am as opposed to the prison-industrial complex, and
its built-in racism, as anyone. Does your example, or the fact that some people
live miserable long lives,  render valueless the overall improvement in life
expectancy?  I don't think so.

i was just cherry-picking back at you. continuing in this vein, does
your example, or the fact that some people live short lives, render valueless
the preindustrial state of life expectancy? i don't think so. this is not a anti-life
statement.

Yes. My example, multiplied by millions of similar, renders valueless
that harsh aspect of preindustrial life, assuming it to have had any value
to begin with.  Do you  think it had any value?

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besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me
as a rather abstract argument.

I'm astonished. You don't think the statistics represent human values, overall?
To hell with the statistics, if you like; it is damn impressive on a HUMAN level.
Do you know many people who really, truly, would prefer to be dead?

A

what is most relevant in you lifespan statistic is that its demographic
variation is no longer based on geographical location but rather the whims of
the control structure.
what are human values? do they exist in isolation? is there such a thing as a
local value? Truth is a value.

Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying about "geographical location and
the whims of the control structure".

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #168 on: August 02, 2012, 06:44:20 PM »

Not discussed in any detail on earlier pages (this thread) is one other highly
significant factor: the way in which wealth, in the distilled and concentrated form
of gold and silver, are moving East. Once the Western downward manipulation
of the gold and silver markets comes to an end, (the manipulation is now fairly
well-documented, in addition to being easily predicted on common-sense grounds),
these metals will be revalued dramatically upward, and the larger holders (BRICS)
will suddenly have much more financial power in the world. The dollar will collapse
in terms of the metals, and the real holders of wealth will be left standing. I fully
expect to learn that the U.S.'s vaunted Fort Knox gold (8K tons) has been
stolen, replaced with gold-plated tungsten, leased-out, rehypothecated, or
otherwise somehow rendered null and void; timeframe: 5-10 years.

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-world%E2%80%99s-gold-moving-west-east

Guest Post: The World’s Gold Is Moving From West To East - 07/30/2012

Did you know that, according to Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada’s latest World Wealth Report, there are now more millionaires in Asia than North America…? An estimated 3.37 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region have a liquid net worth of over US$1 million. That compares to 3.35 million in North America. The same trend is evident in the gold market. While the current world hubs for gold trading and storage are London, Zurich, and New York, stores of physical metal are also beginning to migrate east. Gold storage facilities are springing up all over Asia like mushrooms after a summer rain. Back in 2009, the Hong Kong Airport Authority set up the first secure gold storage facility inside the confines of the Hong Kong Airport. This September, Malca-Amit, the Tel Aviv-based diamonds and precious metals company is opening a second state of the art facility at the airport, which will have capacity for 1,000 metric tons of gold. That compares to the 4,582 tons that the US government claims is in Fort Knox, and the record 2,414 million tons that the world’s exchange traded gold funds collectively held – mostly in London– as of July 5th.

Offline agelbert

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #169 on: August 03, 2012, 10:58:59 AM »
Alan,
Yes, and Australia clearly knows which side of its bread the butter is on. They just told the U.S. Navy where they could put their "China encircling" plans (see "Aussies stand their ground" post).

China just told the U.S. where it could put its sanctions on a bank in Honk Kong dealing with Iran.

Meanwhile, Bernanke is turning the U.S. stock market into another version of Zimbabwe's a few years back with his constant devaluing of the U.S. dollar by having the dealer banks collect swag fees from we-the-people for running HFT programs that jack up the market. Trillions of dollars pilfered for Wall Street BULL(shit) market pig lipstick on the U.S. Greater Depression economy has certainly gotten China's attention. They know they are being scammed. It's the old story of the REAL reason corporations sell stock. The "for public (suckers) consumption" reason is to obtain investment capital to purchase plant and equipment. The REAL reason is to offload risk onto the suckers so the top dogs can do some heavy insider selling and get away with grand larceny and fraud before the corporation implodes. China sees the Bernanke currency devaluation as a fraud on a national scale and is moving to do some tit-for-tat. Bernanke will go down in history as the stupidest crook that ever carried water for Wall/War Street.  As to the neocon "China and Russia" encirclement/containment insanity, Alexander the Great learned the hard way as did the Roman Empire centuries later that an army moves on its stomach. When the currency goes to shit, the logistics goes to shit and the armies of Rome start coming home. We are just about there. I am certain that the move by many, many nations that want to leash the mad, war loving empire are quietly moving to remove the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
But injured barbarians are very dangerous so it's going to get rather wild out there for a while.
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline agelbert

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #170 on: August 03, 2012, 11:43:00 AM »
Alan,
I don't know much about acupuncture but I recently took to task a "The Scientist" article on alternative medicine that starts out reasonably well and then proceeds to dismiss thousands of years of Chinese knowledge in regard to acupuncture as a "placebo". This arrogance, hubris and pseudo-scientific attitude really pisses me off. The article author again stuck his overeducated foot in his mouth by warning of all the "dangers" in folk medicine remedies and the use of natural substances for healing or recreation. This "everybody that isn't a modern scientist is obviously a barbarian idiot with an IQ below 90" attitude is the kind of hubris that is destroying the scientific method. Several commenters gave him elegant critiques showing how slanted in favor of many dangerous big pharma drugs he was and how he highlighted anecdotally, and therefore unscientifically, a few isolated incidents of harm from natural substances. But I pitched in too:

I applaud this article for pointing out that important reality about the 4,000 years of Cannabis use.
As to dangers of psychoactive substances in nature, I wish to remind our scientific community of a U.S. government study nearly 12 years old now that found that an average 106,000 people die each year from pharmaceutical related adverse side effects. the actual suicides in this group are statistically insignificant. These deaths are from prescribed medications at therapeutic doses. With this kind of track record, one that the use and abuse of natural substances does not now or ever had, it is a tad ridiculous to voice concerns about all the poisons in nature such as alkaloids in many plants. Mankind did quite well prior to the scientific method in recognizing dangerous substances and passing that information about what to eat (and how much of it was toxic) for nutrition and/or disease prevention onto subsequent keepers of that knowledge among the various cultures. The fact that they didn't perform FDA double blind tests on mammalian models in a statistically significant group only invalidates this wisdom when a scientist becomes opinionated and disdainful about the critical thinking skills of his ancestors. I say it's time for a little more humility and a little less arrogance. The reason worldwide deaths are low from natural substances is because nature doesn't concentrate her poisons like the pharmaceutical does. Any serious scientist knows this. Furthermore, like the current view that acupuncture is a placebo (conveniently disparaging thousands of years of Chinese intelligence, critical thinking and empirical observations), the fact that we cannot measure biochemical cause and effect does not mean that there is no biochemical cause and effect. The fault, as has happened previously in other areas of medical science (e.g. the ridiculous view of heart function prior to the understanding of electricity's role in a natural pacemaker), is probably in our instrumentation. The blind faith is more on the side of empiricists that claim something isn't there because they can't measure it. Pasteur and Lister encountered EXACTLY the same kind of arrogant dismissals and bigoted behavior.

It's time for the government to stop dictating what natural substances people put in their bodies. If, or when, the associated deaths of users exceeds prescribed medication deaths or targeted species predation from some real or imagined substance people are using threatens extinction. then science should sound the alarm. Until then, science should be screaming from the rooftops that statistically you are more likely to die from prescribed medication than an overdose of foxglove leaves.

http://the-scientist.com/2012/07/01/alternative-medicines/#comment-603918015
 
« Last Edit: August 07, 2012, 04:54:33 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #171 on: August 05, 2012, 03:53:07 AM »
I recently took to task a "The Scientist" article on alternative medicine that starts out reasonably well and then proceeds to dismiss thousands of years of Chinese knowledge in regard to acupuncture as a "placebo". This arrocance, hubris and pseudo-scientific attitude really pisses me off.  The article author again stuck his overeducated foot in his mouth by warning of all the "dangers" in folk medicine remedies and the use of natural substances for healing or recreation.
You're preaching to the choir, here, AG.  Far as I am concerned, anyway.   :)

Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #172 on: August 05, 2012, 04:26:13 AM »
China sees the Bernanke currency devaluation as a fraud on a national scale and is moving to do some tit-for-tat. Bernanke will go down in history as the stupidest crook that ever carried water for Wall/War Street....
 I am certain that the move by many, many nations that want to leash the mad, war loving empire are quietly moving to remove the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Right.

The hell of it all is, we are (as a group, as a nation) going to deserve what
we get.

I keep trying to explain this to my lefty compadres. They are (rightly) concerned
about social justice, and about how the working class has been getting the shaft.
But unfortunately they do not see how the working and middle classes (and even
the poor) in the West have been greatly privileged classes from a global standpoint.
We are RICH, even those of us of the most modest means, and we've gotten rich,
and stayed rich,  off the backs of others the world over. Now, the power and wealth
are shifting their way, and they're unlikely to just forgive and forget.  Is this not
justice, of a sort?  THAT'S the stinger that no one wants to see.

Below is a post I wrote last winter to this effect.  Key line:  "Is it a paradox,
or is it poetic justice, that we, the beneficiaries of global looting for many
decades, are now being looted?  Whatever. We danced with the Devil
and had our fun, and  now the Devil is leaving the party with a younger,
sexier mate."


I can't really put it any better than that. We danced with the Devil and had our
fun, and  now the Devil is leaving the party with a younger, sexier mate.

The U.S. has never had much class consciousness or solidarity amongst workers
and those of modest means. As some pundit said, poor people in the U.S. just
think of themselves as temporarily embarrassed rich people.  Everyone is
looking for their chance to "make it". This is about to come back and bite
us in the ass in a very big way.

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http://markmaynard.com/2012/01/whats-really-likely-to-happen-if-the-ypsi-income-tax-doesnt-pass/#comment-373668

alan2102

Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

Demetrious: "You're right, the center of economic power IS
shifting - but not so much from West to East, as from the
bottom 99% to the top 1%."

It is Both/And, Demmy. The 1% is richer than ever, AND they
have decided to pull up stakes and move East. They see that
the economic dynamism, underlaid in part by lower wages,
greater energy resources, and younger and educated
populations, is now in the East, and that the West is
exhausted, aging and staggering under impossible loads of
debt, corruption and sky-high cost structures (prominently:
medical, and military). Capital is in the process of cutting
itself loose from the sinking ship of the West, and moving on
to greener pastures. It doesn't need us anymore. The only way
to stop this would be a good old-fashioned Trotsky-style
global proletarian revolution, followed by dictatorship of the
(global) proletariat and the institution of a new egalitarian
global regime. And there are some signs that that might
possibly occur. It is not likely, but it is possible. We can
always hope.

D: "The main reason many states, counties and cities (like
Ypsilanti) are struggling is because much of the wealth that
used to exist in our neighborhoods and communities has been
looted by wealthy elites in their quest to go from just being
super-rich, to being *obscenely* rich."

CORRECT. They've been looted, or are in the process of being
looted, and the loot (capital) is moving East. Is it a
paradox, or is it poetic justice, that we, the beneficiaries
of global looting for many decades, are now being looted?
Whatever. We danced with the Devil and had our fun, and now
the Devil is leaving the party with a younger, sexier mate.

D: "The fact is this: If corporations and the very wealthy
were required to pay even a FRACTION of the taxes they paid
only a few decades ago, there would be plenty of money to pay
decent wages and benefits to public-sector workers today; as
well to provide a decent retirement for retirees. But instead,
these powerful interests have used their political influence
to demand tax cut, after tax cut, after tax cut - until we
have finally reached the stage where many state and local
coffers are nearly empty."

CORRECT, provided that you're talking only about the U.S., or
U.S. plus the rest of the developed world. There would be
plenty of money to pay everyone in the U.S. a much nicer wage.

The problem is that the wealth and the corporations (in short:
capital) are moving away. They've BEEN moving away for some
years, (witness Detroit, over the last 50 years), and the
process is accelerating. How do you propose to stop this? Pass
a law forcing capital to stay here? That would be suicidal.
That would be the end of the bond market, and the end of the
dollar; i.e. catastrophic collapse of the whole system here.
Total economic (and probably political and social) collapse.

Furthermore, there's an ethical and social justice aspect to
this. Do you really want to maintain the global system of
depredation and looting that has made and kept us rich - at
the expense of everyone else - over the last century?

The U.S. exists in the context of an entire world, and in that
world, even abolishing the corporations and seizing 100% of
the wealth of the rich would not provide plenty of money to
pay everyone U.S.-style wages. It is simple arithmetic. Global
GDP is nearly $70 trillion, and global population is about 7
billion. Hence, global GDP per capita is about $10K. Hence, to
pay one person $100K means that 19 other people, somewhere,
must suffer a pay cut from $10K down to $5K. That is in fact
what happened for many years. We got our $100K salaries,and it
was at the expense of a great deal of poverty, elsewhere.

If by some twist of fate we did pull off that "Trotsky-style
global proletarian revolution", followed by "institution of a
new egalitarian global regime", it would mean that most
"middle class" people in the OECD would have to suffer a major
pay cut, in order to re-balance things. Again, it is simple
arithmetic. This is not my "theory"; it is plain and
easily-verifiable fact.

I say "middle class" in quotation marks since the definition
of "middle class" varies tremendously, depending. (And this is
why I keep asking you, Demmy, for definitions of such fuzzy
terms; you never reply, but you keep on using the terms.) The
World Bank defines middle class, in its global statistical
analyses, as household income of $5-15K per year. Yes, you
read right: $5-15K. And that is perfectly appropriate. That
really IS middle class, or nearly, taking the phrase at its
literal value (the middle, and close to the average, of the
whole distribution) in the global context.


Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #173 on: August 05, 2012, 05:05:02 AM »
THE GLOBAL 1%: ANYONE OVER CIRCA $50K/YEAR

The global 1% dividing line is about  $50K/year income. 
Slightly less, actually; 47.5K. But 50K is a good mnemonic.

See: http://globalrichlist.com/

The majority of people in the developed world are in the
global 1%, in terms of income. Wealth, however, is different,
and 1%-ers by that standard would be fewer (wealth is more
concentrated than income).


Offline agelbert

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #174 on: August 07, 2012, 06:27:19 PM »
Alan,
The global "1%" is a meme for the policy makers in every country including the third world or first world members of the "empires R us" elite group of predators. I think it is splitting hairs to show how rich first world citizens are in comparison with the third world by using the dollar metric. The quality of life in dirt poor countries can be much higher than first world country existence defined by crap buying consumers pretending they are "rich" because they have stuff. The issue is having POWER to perpetuate a predatory system. Those people making 100k or less in first world countries don't have it. They CAN, like leeches, go along for the ride but the reason the system continues has more to do with a successful propaganda machine than swag for all the "rich" people making 15k to 100k a year. There are vegetable and fruit markets all over the world in dirt poor countries that beat the hell out of ANYTHING we've got here in the USA because they aren't industrialized and homogenized into a narrow selection of "marketable" foodstuffs. Are you not aware of how first world country fruit magnates destroyed fruit and vegetable variety for profit since the early 20th century? And every single one of these dirt poor countries has people that are millionaires and areas with fabulous mansions. Go to google earth and see for yourself! I refuse to group an entire country in the "you are as guilty as the top dogs" category. It's simply not true. While it is true that people continue to engage in activities that hurt others over seas, that "hurt" is peanuts compared with the hurt the elite that force people to pay taxes to support monstrous military machines that rape the planet for corporate profit and selective death for OUR poor and middle class perpetrate. I applaud the crashing of the dollar if it will stop this evil. Do you think I give a shit about surviving on 5k or less a year if that is the price to pay for stopping all this evil? Bring it on! There is a LOT of stupid greed in the USA but it is concentrated on OUR 1%. Our people do not want more war but we are not in control. Is having a cell phone a mark of a high standard of living? I refused to buy one and never will. If I have to walk to the corner general store to use a pay phone like they used to do in poor countries because my land line is destroyed, so be it. If I don't have to put up with bullshit ordinances that don't let me keep a horse and homemade cart and force me to jump through hoops to get my car to pass inspection because the local government and infrastructure has collapsed into third world status, THAT would be a welcome change from the town council horseshit of vaunted first world status. Do you think I give a shit if I can't go to the movies, a concert, a country club pool, the mall or eat out? I stopped doing all that shit years ago, shovel my own snow and have a push mower. Intermittent electrical power is a price I would be glad to pay for not having a planet killing military. Most people in the USA have all these "conveniences" because they have been SADDLED with them by the "1%". When they go, I won't miss them and I'll wager quality of life will actually improve. I've got a car with broken muffler outside right now. If I didn't life in a "first" world country, I could use a hanger and some metal splints to rig up an electrolysis seal on it after a few days. But no, we are too specialized and to official this and that for jury rigging repairs like they did in the last depression. The "first" world bureaucratic bullshit is so thick you can cut it with a knife! Sorry Alan, I feel no guilt for all the poor bastards out there in third world countries. I know who caused all this misery and it was the policy makers and corporate poobahs who, as Dr. Phil says, are the ones getting the lion's share of the swag out of it. They didn't baby the first world populations for charitable reasons; it was a clever PR move and most people realize they were sold a bill of goods because the rug is getting pulled out from under them now. We can argue percentages all day but the bastards that keep this crap going are clearly identified here AND in third world countries. You severely overestimate the quality of life in the USA for the 50k or less group and severely underestimate the benefits of living in a third world environment free of excessive bureaucracy. You need another metric besides the dollar or GDP. That gives you bad data on the quality of life and happines of the citizenry. I know third world countries can be red tape hell but if you stay away from the cities, life has less restrictions than here. Why don't I move? My wife refuses to. If it weren't for her I would have moved to a boat or some cheap nowhereland long ago. Besides, having a pacemaker doesn't help. If I was in a third world country when my heart stopped, I would have left this valley of tears in 2007. So I am guilty of being complicit in animal torture (pacemaker trials) and the infrastructure borne of war and combat medice that led to pacemakers in empire land. Big fucking deal. I did not choose this life. It just happened and I know who the REAL guilty parties are for the present planetary clusterfuck.
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Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #175 on: August 08, 2012, 05:27:23 PM »
Alan,
The global "1%" is a meme for the policy makers in every country
including the third world or first world members of the "empires R
us" elite group of predators.
That's surely what everyone would like to think. That's what I would like
to think. But it is not quite true.  We would all love to blame  the bad
guys at the top; I share in this. And it is true that the bad guys at the
top are to blame for a LOT.  But it is not the whole story.

Quote
I think it is splitting hairs to show how rich first world citizens are in
comparison with the third world by using the dollar metric. The quality of life
in dirt poor countries can be much higher than first world country existence
There's some truth in this, but not much. We ARE rich, and not just in
terms of some glittery unnecessary consumer objects.  And I can assure you
that life here is vastly better than in truly dirt poor countries.

Quote
The issue is having POWER to perpetuate a predatory system. Those people
making 100k or less in first world countries don't have it.
There's some truth in this also -- more than in your previous statement.
However, consider that we DO have the power to perpetuate a predatory
system. We exercise that power every day, as we assent to the system's
structure and operations, and (usually) participate in them, in some
capacity.

Quote
I refuse to group an entire country in the "you are as guilty as the top
dogs" category.
I agree! I never said that "you are as guilty", and I wouldn't.
I just said: wait a minute, before you go blithely and thoughtlessly
assuming yourself to be in the (oppressed) 99%.  For most people in
the West, this really is not so. We are the beneficiaries of the system's
depredations. That does NOT mean that we are "as guilty as the top
dogs".  We are not as guilty as they are; but we ARE guilty, to an
uncomfortable extent.  Or, I should say: we are responsible.

Our problem cannot, unfortunately, be reduced to a simple "us versus
them" moral story.  We have met the enemy, and he is he, AND he is
us. Both.  Strange, but true.

Quote
While it is true that people continue to engage in activities that hurt
others over seas, that "hurt" is peanuts compared with the hurt the elite
that force people to pay taxes to support monstrous military machines that
rape the planet for corporate profit and selective death for OUR poor and
middle class perpetrate.
We don't have to participate.  The system certainly depends on our
participation and ongoing effective approval, however.  The system would
grind to a halt overnight if we were to withdraw our consent.

Quote
I applaud the crashing of the dollar if it will stop this evil. Do you think
I give a shit about surviving on 5k or less a year if that is the price to
pay for stopping all this evil? Bring it on!
Well, hallelujah for you!  Seriously. That's a GREAT attitude -- and one
that is shared by perhaps 0.0194% of your fellow 'merikans.

Quote
There is a LOT of stupid greed in the USA but it is concentrated on
OUR 1%.
My friend, I wish to God(dess) you were right, but I am certain that
you are wrong.

Quote
Our people do not want more war but we are not in control.
Of course. No one wants war -- nominally. The question is, what would
be the reaction to the conditions of no more war, like collapse of the
dollar, collapse of the military-industrial-security complex, and so on.
I can tell you what the reaction would (will) be: "Nooooo! Bring back
the good old days!"  And at that point everyone will show up at the
polls to vote overwhelmingly for the worst neo-fascist demagogues
who promise to bring back the good old days. That's how fascism
happens.  One of the great scholars of fascism, I think it was Roger
Griffin, called it "palingenetic ultranationalism" -- the "palingenetic"
part referring to the idea of rising from the ashes to rebuild a
great nation/empire, one that has been taken down by unjust
attacks and subversive activity.  That sounds to me EXACTLY
like what is most likely to happen here.  The demagogues will find
suitable scapegoats; hell, they already have: muslims, leftists,
communists, liberals, "terrorists" (all of the foregoing groups
being suspected "terrorists"), and so on.  They will tell us that
the collapse of the dollar, and with it our ("great") way of life, was
caused by financial terrorists, subversives in our midst, foreign
enemies, and so on. They will tell us that if we could just rid
ourselves of the parasites and vipers, those plotting against us, we
can once again be the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH, blah blah. They
will play gullible Americans like a fiddle with this fake mythopoetic
exceptionalist crap. The people will buy it, and we'll be off to the
races (to hell).  I earnestly wish that this were not so, but I am
all but certain that it is.

Quote
Do you think I give a shit if I can't go to the movies, a concert, a country
club pool, the mall or eat out? I stopped doing all that shit years ago
Once again: hallelujah for you, Agelbert!  That's terrific. But you must
understand that the vast majority of your countrymen will think you less
than truly AMERICAN for this behavior of yours.   ;)

Quote
Most people in the USA have all these "conveniences" because they have
been SADDLED with them by the "1%".
As of 100 years ago (pre-Bernays era) that was true, but those days are
long gone. Almost everyone in the U.S. now thinks all these consumer objects
and whatnot to be essential.  I'm not, of course, saying that they are right;
just pointing out the fact of where most people are at.

Quote
Sorry Alan, I feel no guilt for all the poor bastards out there in third world
countries.
I feel no guilt either. I do, however, feel a measure of responsibility, which is
a different thing.

Quote
You severely overestimate the quality of life in the USA for the 50k or less group
Again, I'll give a little credit on this one, but not much. The quality of life here
is pretty damn good, relative to undeveloped places. That's part of the reason
that people are flocking in unprecedented droves to the cities,  where they have
a hope of getting some semblance of a better life -- like you and I have been
living all along.  We tend to take things for granted. Hell, we take TONS for
granted, as though it did not even exist!  On a post in another thread I was
discussing all the advantages of living here; I mentioned public health
infrastructure -- which happens to be an excellent example of the kind of
thing that we overlook. That infrastructure, and prevailing hygiene, makes
our lives vastly better, and yet most of us (you, perhaps?) barely even
notice its existence.  You're talking about the quality of the fruit in the
markets -- a nicety; I'm talking about stuff that keeps you from getting
gravely ill and dying, or else that causes you to live in such a way that you
wish you were dead.

Quote
you severely underestimate the benefits of living in a third world environment
free of excessive bureaucracy.
"Free of bureaucracy" is not terribly important when you're walking
around with unresolved malaria and hence chronic anemia, no energy,
and generally abysmal quality of life. I don't like bureaucracy any more
than you do, but for the love of Pete, let's keep our priorities straight!

Quote
You need another metric besides the dollar or GDP.
GDP is a very useful metric up to a point, as I've written. The point at
which it becomes less useful comes quickly -- at about $10-15K per
capita. After that, the correlation with quality of life drops off steeply.
I've NEVER suggested otherwise. I've NEVER bought the bullshit idea
that higher GDP  is always good.  It is only good up to a point.  And
up TO that point, it is very very good indeed.  It reflects all the most
important stuff -- stuff that tends to be invisible to the typical person
in the developed world. We take all that stuff for granted. See above.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Offline RE

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Malthus to China Potpourri: LPWP Links
« Reply #176 on: August 08, 2012, 07:49:38 PM »
Quote
(have you read part 2 of RE's LPWP series? BTW - you'll like his uncharacteristically
rosy part 3. [sorry, i'm offline so no link.])
No. What is "LPWP"?  Would be nice to have a link.

Large Public Works Projects: Part I

Large Publics Works Projects: Part II

Large Public Works Projects III- SPWPs and the Flintstone Project

RE
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Offline RE

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Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
« Reply #177 on: August 08, 2012, 08:35:15 PM »
Our problem cannot, unfortunately, be reduced to a simple "us versus
them" moral story.  We have met the enemy, and he is he, AND he is
us. Both.  Strange, but true.

Commonly held belief, but innacurate. The "Enemy" are those of "Us" who run the show. The first step in regaining control over a runaway train is to push the current Engineer out the door.  Step 2 is putting on the Brakes.  Step 3 is to get off the train once it comes to a halt and to learn to Walk again.

Most of the Passengers on the Train are completely oblivious to the fact the train is careening out of control towards a soon to be washed out Bridge over a Gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon.  They can't see out the Front Window of the Engine, they can only look at the Scenery on the sides of the train as they pass it by. Most of these Passengers will be quite surprised when they briefly go Weightless in Free Fall and start floating up out of their seats.


A few passengers on this train are Tuned into Newz Reports and are aware a Dam burst upriver 1000 miles from the bridge the train is due to cross. Still fewer passengers have their GPS operational on their Samsung Tablets and Apple I-Pads and know the precise position of the Train relative to the Bridge.  Fewer still know enough math to estimate how long it will take the Train to reach the bridge and how long it will take for the Wall of Water to reach the bridge.

This VERY TINY minority of passengers starts SCREAMING all over the Train/Internet that we are all GONNA DIE if we don't STOP THIS TRAIN NOW! meanwhile, most of the passengers think they are NUTS, and getting enough passengers together to go and take over the Engine and put the brakes on the train is impossible.

Is the "Enemy",  "Us" the Passengers on the Train? No, the Enemy is the Engineer who is running them all headlong into the Great Beyond.  You can't stop the train until you get RID of the current person running it, who keeps the throttle open wide figuring if he gets it up to 88 Miles per Hour and the Flux Capacitor kicks in, he'll jump across time and go Back to the Future to a period when the bridge has been rebuilt.

Worked for Marty McFly, will not work IRL. So Sorry.

RE
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 12:57:46 AM by RE »
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Offline agelbert

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #178 on: August 09, 2012, 12:11:27 AM »
Alan,
I realize people like me are in the minority in the USA right now and my attitude is considered "unpatriotic" but there are more of us all the time with web sites like this one telling it like it really is. I do what, in my conscience, I think is right. If nobody else does it, that's a shame but I am a willing prisoner of my conscience and wouldn't want it any other way.

As to "who the enemy is", I continue to believe the answer to that is cui bono the most in the continuance of the status quo. If I make a penny for every hundred bucks you make, it would be a tad disproportionate to say all those slaves on the plantation making that penny are mostly responsible for not correcting the evils of the system. With modern weaponry, 1% of the population can maintain the rest in cowed submission, especially with major population reduction for a "viable" human future as the stated aim of that 1% being clearly communicated over and over and over again to the "useless eaters" by the corporate media.

So, my friend, we will see who is right on this issue soon.

"Whether one views the modern world as insane or not may even be a criterion of one’s own sanity." Masanobu Fukuoka

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http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=631.msg5661#msg5661



   
« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 12:25:03 AM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
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Offline alan2102

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Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
« Reply #179 on: August 09, 2012, 07:28:08 AM »
Alan,
I realize people like me are in the minority in the USA right now and my attitude
is considered "unpatriotic" but there are more of us all the time with web sites
like this one telling it like it really is.
Agreed. It is a growing movement. And in a short time -- say, two generations
or so -- after the collapse of the dollar, and after everyone has had a few decades
to fully digest the fact that owning an F-250 and 80 pairs of shoes is NOT their
birthright,  and after the new neo-fascist attempt at palingenesis (see my post
immediately above) collapses in ignominy and utter failure,  I expect that we'll bulk
to a significant number. Frugality and modest living WILL prevail. WE WILL BE
VINDICATED. Circa 2050.

Quote
major population reduction for a "viable" human future [is] the stated aim
of [the] 1% ... clearly communicated over and over and over again to the
"useless eaters" by the corporate media.
And, if we see clearly the resource limits of planet earth, is it not true
that major population reduction -- or at the very least stabilization at
a level not far north of here -- is desirable? And is it not POSSIBLE
(though I grant not likely) that the wonderful voluntary collapse of fertility
around the world represents a deliberate part of the 1%/elite's plan to
reduce population?

This goes to the questions I asked of R.E., earlier, but no reply. Here's the
post, which I think worthy of a second look:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5720#msg5720

reply #95 on page 7:

The "Useless Eaters" quote has variously been attributed to Winston Churchill
and Henry Ford, and is used by me here tongue-in-cheek.  It does not just
represent the Chinese, but ALL the excess Poor People of the world
the Illuminati would like to dispense with.  Below, a few Quotes from many
of the principal pundits of the Eugenics Movement

Quote
Useless Eaters Beware: Agenda to Depopulate Earth  (continued)
by STEPHANIE R. PASCO (INFOWARS)
[snip]
I'm curious: what do you think of the huge fall-off of fertility and
population growth rate over the last 30 years?  Could this represent
the Illuminati's way of getting rid of "useless eaters" (preventing them
from being born to begin with)?  "Depopulation" by attrition -- normal
mortality -- combined with low fertility? A winning combo.

Quote
You have to understand when I am refering to the Iluminati here and
their plans.  My Plan is DIFFERENT.  My Plan is to get rid
of THEM before they get rid of US.

But what if they are reducing the population in a gentle, organic way (by
causing reduced fertility), resulting in slow progress toward  sustainability? 
Is it possible that the Illuminati are not as evil as we think?

Or if they ARE as evil as we think, when do the fireworks begin? When do
they start the kill-off, in earnest?

« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 07:36:56 AM by alan2102 »