AuthorTopic: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff  (Read 772 times)

Guest

  • Guest
Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« on: May 27, 2017, 03:49:13 AM »


youtube-Logo-2gc2reddit-logoOff the keyboard of Ugo Bardi



Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

Friend us on Facebook



Published on Cassandra's Legacy on May 24, 2017



cassandra_retouched



Discuss this article at the Science & Technology Table inside the Diner






 



The Coming Seneca Cliff of the Automotive Industry: the Converging Effect of Disruptive Technologies and Social Factors




 





 





This graph shows the projected demise of individual car ownership in the US, according to "RethinkX". That will lead to the demise of the automotive industry as we know it since a much smaller number of cars will be needed. If this is not a Seneca collapse, what is? 


Decades of work in research and development taught me this:

 



Innovation does not solve problems, it creates them. 


Which I could call "the Golden Rule of Technological Innovation." There are so many cases of this law at work that it is hard for me to decide where I should start from. Just think of nuclear energy; do you understand what I mean? So, I am always amazed at the naive faith of some people who think that more technology will solve the problems created by technology. It just doesn't work like that.



That doesn't mean that technological research is useless; not at all. R&D can normally generate small but useful improvements to existing processes, which is what it is meant to do. But when you deal with breakthroughs, well, it is another kettle of dynamite sticks; so to say. Most claimed breakthroughs turn out to be scams (cold fusion is a good example) but not all of them. And that leads to the second rule of technological innovation:

 



Successful innovations are always highly disruptive


You probably know the story of the Polish cavalry charging against the German tanks during WWII. It never happened, but the phrase "fighting tanks with horses" is a good metaphor for what technological breakthroughs can do. Some innovations impose themselves, literally, by marching over the dead bodies of their opponents. Even without such extremes, when an innovation becomes a marker of social success, it can diffuse extremely fast. Do you remember the role of status symbol that cell phones played in the 1990s?



Cars are an especially good example of how social factors can affect and amplify the effects of innovation. I discussed in a previous post on Cassandra's Legacy how cars became the prime marker of social status in the West with the 1950s, becoming the bloated and inefficient objects we know today. They had a remarkably effect on society, creating the gigantic suburbs of today's cities where life without a personal car is nearly impossible.



But the great wheel of technological innovation keeps turning and it is soon going to make individual cars as obsolete as it would be wearing coats made of home-tanned bear skins. It is, again, the combination of technological innovation and socioeconomic factors creating a disruptive effect. For one thing, private car ownership is rapidly becoming too expensive for the poor. At the same time, the combination of global position systems (GPS), smartphones, and autonomous driving technologies makes it possible a kind of "transportation on demand" or "transportation as a service" (TAAS) that was unthinkable just a decade ago. Electric cars are especially suitable (although not critically necessary) for this kind of transportation. In this scheme, all you need to do to get a transportation service is to push a button on your smartphone and the vehicle you requested will silently glide in front of you to take you wherever you want. (*)



The combination of these factors is likely to generate an unstoppable and disruptive social phenomenon. Owning a car will be increasing seen as passé, whereas using the latest TAAS gadgetry will be seen as cool. People will scramble to get rid of their obsolete, clumsy, and unfashionable cars and move to TAAS. Then, TAAS can also play the role of social filter: with the ongoing trends of increasing social inequality, the poor will be able to use it only occasionally or not at all. The rich, instead, will use it to show that they can and that they have access to credit. Some TAAS services will be exclusive, just as some hotels and resorts are. Some rich people may still own cars as a hobby, but that wouldn't change the trend.



Of course, all that is a vision of the future and the future is always difficult to predict. But something that we can say about the future is that when changes occur, they occur fast. In this case, the end result of the development of individual TAAS will be the rapid collapse of the automotive industry as we know it: a much smaller number of vehicles will be needed and they won't need to be of the kind that the present aotumotive industry can produce. This phenomenon has been correctly described by "RethinkX," even though still within a paradigm of growth. In practice, the transition is likely to be even more rapid and brutal than what the RethinkX team propose. For the automotive industry, there applies the metaphor of "fighting tanks with horses."



The demise of the automotive industry is an example of what I called the "Seneca Effect." When some technology or way of life becomes obsolete and unsustainable, it tends to collapse very fast. Look at the data for the world production of motor vehicles, below (image from Wikipedia). We are getting close to producing a hundred million of them per year. If the trend continues, during the next ten years we'll have produced a further billion of them. Can you really imagine that it would be possible? There is a Seneca Cliff waiting for the automotive industry.



 



 



 






(*) If the trend of increasing inequality continues, autonomous driven cars are not necessary. Human drivers would be inexpensive enough for the minority of rich people who can afford to hire them.



 




 



 





 



Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 33699
    • View Profile
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 03:54:21 AM »
Note:  I added the July 4th Car Launching video from Glacier Falls.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 10597
    • View Profile
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2017, 05:00:30 AM »
Yes, some huge changes happen fast, but i feel mainly they are happening all the time. I think we are going through a period of the collapse of the old worn out memes that have guided humanity for at least 200 years. There are billions of these worn out memes still guiding peoples decisions. The problem is that the emperor is losing his clothes. Sometimes a whole piece of his wardrobe drops off, but most of the time his clothes are deteriorating by accelerated entropy. Which has put most of the world in a state of semi, if not full blown chaos. Some one once said to me "It is that which you don't allow to happen that keeps you from being free." I think Donald Trump is the result of collapsing neo capitalism, and the end of American hegemony. China and Russia and many other countries are scrambling to find out how to survive as this Empire collapses. DT is accelerating our demise. For some reason I think of DT as Nero in the fall of Rome. He won't set the White House on fire, he will just keep his insane mouth moving and vocalizing the fire that is disrupting BAU. I said 2 years ago to people that opium is going to be the drug of choice. These are really tough times for most all of us ( humanity ), and going off to la-la land is a semi rational choice. In North Carolina a man was busted for growing Poppy plants worth 500 million. It will be in my news.
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING! Our communities blog is at https://openmind693.wordpress.com

Offline luciddreams

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 3307
    • View Profile
    • Epiphany Now
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2017, 06:17:41 AM »
Which brings us to the End of Suburbia!  This is a rather intractable problem for the majority of the population in Merica.  Suburbia was built around carz.  It's a landscape of and for carz.  Without Suburbia your options are either farming, or living in a city...pretty much.  It goes back to the options we had in civilization before the car was created.  Personally I'd love to live in a world that doesn't require me to have a car (truck in my case).  However, getting to that world is going to be a long hard slog.  It's going to be miserable.  The modalities of living without a car will have to take time to unfold.  We'll be stuck in that process.  Hopefully my kids will make it through.  I doubt either of them will ever own a car, and that is a good thing.  There are going to be some growing pains as we move forward...or rather some shrinking pains. 

Slow motion fast collapse is what we have here. 

Offline agelbert

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 11523
    • View Profile
    • Renewable Rervolution
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 12:28:31 PM »

May 27, 2017, 03:49:13 AM

Agelbert Note: Quote from the above article:

Quote
Innovation does not solve problems, it creates them.


The above is an excellent example of a half-truth. The author is focusing, without mentioning it, on Dilworth's  idea that humans are too smart for their own good, as discussed in his the peer reviewed book Dilworth wrote showing how we-the-people had to pay about $468 a barrel  :o  :P (effective price to police the middle east for oil) in the FIRST Gulf war instead of using that money to become independent of Middle East oil. He showed how TPTB "justified"  that stupidity in the quote below:

Quote
Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists.
 
Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.


Yes, making we-the-people pay for war and other polluter fun and games IS a form of INNOVATION that CREATES problems and certainly DOES NOT solve problems; it exacerbated TWO problems: 1) the pollution problem AND 2) the concentration of wealth in fewer hands democracy destroying problem.

But it continues to be a half truth. From Dilworth's point of view, the innovation in human medicine of washing our hands and other other methods of antisepsis CREATES a bigger problem than it solves, simply because that boosts the human population beyond the available resources. (see: bacteria consuming agar n a petri dish quicker as the population increases, thereby hastening their demise - despite the instinctive ring circling delay attempt).

To take that argument to its logical end, the "innovation" of a large brain that gave us tool making created more problems than it solved for our ancestors, who proceeded to kill and eat anything or anybody that was either in their way, was edible, or both.


However, despite the above logic, which boils down to "Humans, like T-Rex, just DO WHAT THEY DO",  the argument is flawed.

HOW SO ? ???
 


The argument ignores the FACT that at each and every innovation event in human history, a bifurcation of he future viability level of the species, projected just before that innovation, occurred. The ASS-U-MEption that a more stable biosphere would have been obtained had our population been kept in check by disease, dumbness or whatever cannot be proven because we didn't go that route. It's just an assumption, like the deep ecologists have that humans are a disease on earth and the biosphere will be better off without us.

True, innovations SEEM to increase the rate we use up available resources in a fixed biosphere area, which temporarily increases the species footprint on the biosphere while decreasing the long term viability of that species as its increasingly bigger footprint crowds out the other species it needs to survive.

They way things look NOW, the trajectory is extinction for humans, of course. That cannot be denied by any person with critical thinking skills (unless they work for the fossil fuel industry - they don't hire people with those skills  ;D).

BUT, at each and every bifurcation brought by innovation, an ETHICS BASED QUESTION WAS ASKED AND ANSWERED BY TPTB. Consistently, corrupt leaders with short term horizons ignored the Precautionary Principle of Science. And as specialization in human fields of endeavor increased, less and less people in decision making authority at the top had the skills or the inclination to look at the total biosphere cause and effect picture to determine if the human innovation was deleterious to it, to our eventual detriment. And EVEN when an obvious detriment to life was evidenced, profit over people and planet prevailed.

So, the PROBLEM is NOT the INNOVATION itself, but LACK OF ETHICAL BEHAVIOR by TPTB.

So, are we doomed if we CONTINUE to allow TPTB to refuse to make ETHICAL BEHAVIOR sine qua non in our society?

Absolutely. But we are not doomed because we are self aware, can innovate and do stupid things. WE are doomed because we made a conscious CHOICE to do so. It's called SIN (missing the mark). We DO have free will, despite what many, like the deep ecologists, claim to the contrary. But all these modern Darwin worshiping "highly evolved" intelliburros out there want to eschew, demean, disdain, ridicule and reject forget all concepts of ethics, right and wrong, morality, the concept of SIN or absolutely anything that gets in the way of them doing their selfish thing.

So much do the intelliburros fastidiously cling to to their relativist and rebellious mindset, that rather than ADMIT humanity made mistakes, and needs to correct them through ethical behavior, they claim that we rigidly just DO WHAT WE DO and throw up their hands, as the author of the article is doing.

I wrote some time ago, when discussing Dilworth's information about the Fossil Fuel Industry Capitalists:

The Fracking, pollution and GW we are being assaulted with are SYMPTOMS of the DISEASE killing our biosphere, not the disease itself.

If we don't seriously address this DISEASE of Shit Canned Ethics for Short Term Profits of the fossil fuel FOOLS that are despoiling our biosphere and accelerating planetary pollution, the big die offs (including large segments of the human population) begin at 2030.

This totally unjustified profit, never mind the needless lose of lives, then increases the power of the fossil fuel corporations to perpetuate a biosphere harming dirty fuel status quo. How? By "funding" politicians with rather large "donations" to keep renewable energy from competing with dirty energy.

If all this was just about power politics, I might not be that concerned. Humans, particularly the overly ambitious and aggressive ones, have always fought and schemed to control and fleece the population at large.
 
But now we know the future of our biosphere is at stake. Now we know the entire edifice of dirty energy is a knife in the back of the biosphere that will destroy our species and many others.

The system, as defined by the fossil fuel fascist dystopia that currently runs most of the human affairs among the 1 billion population in the developed world that is saddling the other 6 billion, who are totally free of guilt for causing it, with this climate horror we are beginning to experience, IS quite stubborn and does not wish to change the status quo.

Mother nature will force it to do so.

Whether it is done within the next two decades or not (i.e. a switch to 100% PLUS bioremediation Renewable Energy steady state economy) will dictate the size of the consequent die off, not only of humans but thousands of other species as well.

We are now in a climate cake that has been baked for about 1,000 years according to atmospheric, objective, proven with experimental data, science.

If the crash program to switch to renewable energy is to begin soon, I expect the trigger for the crash program will be the first ice free arctic summer (according to my estimates) in 2017. But millions of people demanding a transition to 100% renewable Energy will give us a fighting chance to win the Climate Victory.

You can help us leave dirty energy sources that are killing us behind.


All we have to do is use Common Sense, admit we were WRONG, and make ETHICAL BEHAVIOR sine qua non in human affairs.

We HAVE A CHOICE. But how can we make that choice if people no longer believe there is a difference between good and evil behavior? The short answer is that we can't. The apparently "easy" choice will always be taken. THAT IS WHAT GOT US HERE. THAT IS WHAT UNTHINKING, NON-TOOLMAKING, NON-SINNING BACTERIA DO in a petri dish with agar running out (after their instinctive ring 'circling' attempts collapse).

WE ARE NOT BACTERIA. WE HAVE A CHOICE TO DO THE right THING.

All we have to do is stop pretending otherwise. WE understand nature pretty well. It's time we obeyed her and put everybody who doesn't in jail. THAT is the INNOVATION in human affairs that would NOT create a bigger problem than the one it solved. You don't have to believe in God to admit you were wrong and that biosphere math MUST be our guide, but it helps;D



« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 01:15:53 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 10597
    • View Profile
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff - religion won't help
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 01:35:54 PM »


I truly would want to see all Christians like Algebert "do the right thing". All Christians right now, do not understand the nature of love and compassion that AG and many other Religious people do. Most of the time the Religious person is just following the sheep like path that their "leaders" impress on them. We have all seen the the TV evangelist type, and the fallen from grace type, but most follow their leaders advice on how to act and they are usually driven by their mixed up ideas about their Religion. So, this unethical behavior that drove us to this point of collapse has little to do with heart of the message in Religion. If we dictate morality, and ethical behavior we have become like our enemies who dictate the way we go about trashing the earth's environment. If we have a massive propaganda campaign saying "You have a choice!" "Do the right thing", I have a feeling that a few people might understand, but most have heard it, and have chosen to live with half baked ideas, and thereby have half baked actions and solutions. Religion aside, people can be knowledgeable, sincere, compassionate, and really care about our planet and where we are heading. It is up to the individual to grow into maturity, which right now is not happening to us humans. I don't see any way TPTB are going to change their agenda. They won't change their behavior even after massive protests and riots.
  If we act in an open minded way to each other about the facts and the suffering that surrounds us, and NOT project our egoistic notions onto these things, there might be a chance to turn a few, if not many people's mental grooves to a sane approach to living simply, and acting for the best way to solve our adolescent predispositions.
  I do not believe in Karma, reincarnation, reaping what you sow, or "justice" by a divine creator. In reality it just doesn't happen that way unless  the person uses the "fake news" approach. I think that when we all realize that we are basically ignorant of what life is about, and quit feeding ourselves like pigs and raping the earth, we might have a chance to create a habitable world and live in peace with each other.   
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING! Our communities blog is at https://openmind693.wordpress.com

Offline agelbert

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 11523
    • View Profile
    • Renewable Rervolution
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 02:15:55 PM »

I truly would want to see all Christians like Algebert "do the right thing". All Christians right now, do not understand the nature of love and compassion that AG and many other Religious people do. Most of the time the Religious person is just following the sheep like path that their "leaders" impress on them. We have all seen the the TV evangelist type, and the fallen from grace type, but most follow their leaders advice on how to act and they are usually driven by their mixed up ideas about their Religion. So, this unethical behavior that drove us to this point of collapse has little to do with heart of the message in Religion. If we dictate morality, and ethical behavior we have become like our enemies who dictate the way we go about trashing the earth's environment. If we have a massive propaganda campaign saying "You have a choice!" "Do the right thing", I have a feeling that a few people might understand, but most have heard it, and have chosen to live with half baked ideas, and thereby have half baked actions and solutions. Religion aside, people can be knowledgeable, sincere, compassionate, and really care about our planet and where we are heading. It is up to the individual to grow into maturity, which right now is not happening to us humans. I don't see any way TPTB are going to change their agenda. They won't change their behavior even after massive protests and riots.
  If we act in an open minded way to each other about the facts and the suffering that surrounds us, and NOT project our egoistic notions onto these things, there might be a chance to turn a few, if not many people's mental grooves to a sane approach to living simply, and acting for the best way to solve our adolescent predispositions.
  I do not believe in Karma, reincarnation, reaping what you sow, or "justice" by a divine creator. In reality it just doesn't happen that way unless  the person uses the "fake news" approach. I think that when we all realize that we are basically ignorant of what life is about, and quit feeding ourselves like pigs and raping the earth, we might have a chance to create a habitable world and live in peace with each other. 
 

My friend, the issue is not now, or ever was, religion. I said that believing in God helps to understand that nature, which interacts with all life in a harmony humans can just barely grasp enough to follow, must be obeyed if we wish to do the right thing. The WRONG thing is what we are doing.

I agree religion will not help.

But until TPTB, regardless of what you or I think or believe, decide that we ARE doing the WRONG thing now by disobeying nature, we ARE DOOMED.

Knarf, when you are in a hole, it is logical and reasonable to stop digging. But first TPTB need to ADMIT we are in a hole. They haven't done that yet.

And if those 5 billion or so people on the bottom of the economic ladder all decide to listen to what you and I agree on and live responsibly and in harmony with each other and the biosphere, we are still doomed because the 17% or so on the top will continue to do 80% plus of the extinction coffee damage.

Whether you or I believe in Karma or retribution is irrelevant to TPTB. They know most people will die. They don't care, Knarf. They are intelliburros. Their scientists are grasping at silly Darwinian 'apex predator' straws to try to explain all this evil, self destructive behavior away.

If you do not wish to believe that evil exists, then that's up to you. But it is rather obvious to the casual observer that humans  engage in destructive behavior that will probably off our species. If that is not a consequence of MISSING THE MARK (i.e. sin), I don't know what is.

Actions have consequences and we have free will. Any scientist will agree without even bringing the issue of religion into the picture.

Our problem is lack of ethical behavior. We solve it or we are toast.



« Last Edit: May 28, 2017, 02:18:52 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline knarf

  • Global Moderator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 10597
    • View Profile
Re: Carz Go Off the Seneca Cliff
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 02:55:49 PM »
AG, you are a person that I admire very much. You seem tireless about fighting the "good fight". However we are are not going to see any big change in ethical behavior in our species for a mighty long time, and by that time we will have "screwed the pooch." The only way we can fight back is by what you do, and most of the Diners do, is keep exposing the "sleep walkers" for the destructive beings they are, and reporting on intelligent ways people are changing their behavior in compassionate ways. 

I feel like many of the Diners have managed to mature into very competent human beings. I think there are thousands ( I wish it was a billion ) of us all over the globe. We are right now in a huge fight against TPTB. I will keep fighting, even if it is vain, I know you will too. :)
HUMANS ARE STILL EVOLVING! Our communities blog is at https://openmind693.wordpress.com

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
The Fiscal Cliff

Started by RE « 1 2 » Economics

21 Replies
2726 Views
Last post January 03, 2013, 09:42:39 AM
by Petty Tyrant
0 Replies
734 Views
Last post December 08, 2014, 01:02:19 AM
by Guest
1 Replies
347 Views
Last post July 22, 2017, 05:14:14 AM
by knarf