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February 23rd, 2012, 22:06
I think it was invented by inhabitants of the internets.
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March 21st, 2012, 11:48
"The rich ones become richer and richer"

This is an article from the web site of "my" local newspaper. I draw my information from there.

The article says that although the wages of the masses stagnate (and have been stagnating or sinking during the last 10 years here !), the wages of the top positions are nothing but going up.

This is simple maths : The less the workers pay, the higher the profits are. And who gets the profits ? Right : Not the workers …

They did even wiggle around a law that was meant to limit the wages for the top positions a bit : They are not decresing the short-term bonus payments, and increasing the long-term bonus payments instead …

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 21st, 2012, 17:31
I'll bet the problem is worse in the US than Germany.
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March 21st, 2012, 20:06
Yes, perhaps, but the problem is NEW to Germany !

Everything new evokes great discussions and emotions.

In the U.S. , people might already be used to it, kind of (sounds bad, but this is my personal impression due to sheer lack of knowledge).

I have read an interview with Jeffrey Sachs the other day (I think it was yesterday). I begin to like this guy. He has published a new book, too. Edit : I can't find it, which means that it is not published yet. I think the title was "Uncivilized Land" or "Uncivilized Country", and he means the U.S. with it. Edit : Could this one, too, judging from its tone : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pri…lization_(book)

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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March 21st, 2012, 21:07
Yes, greed and selfishness is uncivilized (in my book).
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March 22nd, 2012, 12:27
Greed and selfishness are universal human traits. We all have them, and there's no way around that.

However, we do have brains as well - and I'm personally a bit of a utilitarian. My brain tells me that while something might be better for myself in the short-term, it's not necessarily better for myself or those around me in the long-term.

So, what I would consider uncivilised behavior is to let greed and selfishness take over and drive our actions or our inaction - without constant use of our brains.

Basically, our mental capacity and knowledge are the tools with which we can improve ourselves and the world as a whole. Our "hearts" shouldn't even enter the equation beyond serving as an additional motivator.

The issue with being self-serving is that we're not "cups" that can be perpetually filled. We have a surprisingly modest capacity for indulgence - and once that point is reached, it becomes a delusional pursuit of an ever elusive satisfaction. The road to perpetual satisfaction, in my mind, is to consider others so as to provide a more stable source of satisfaction, that's external - rather than the unreliable internal sensations. This is a chain-reaction, and as it spreads - the external source of satisfaction strengthens, to the benefit of everyone.

This position of mine is no less selfish than just serving myself - because it IS serving myself, in addition to serving others.

The only difference is that I consider it a more informed position than pure self-satisfaction.
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March 22nd, 2012, 13:17
Greed and selfishness have their uses. The key is to have a strong, yet lean and efficient regulatory environment to keep them from being damaging to society.

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March 22nd, 2012, 14:27
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Greed and selfishness have their uses. The key is to have a strong, yet lean and efficient regulatory environment to keep them from being damaging to society.
Unfortunately said regulation has to be done by humans. Greedy and selfish humans.
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March 22nd, 2012, 14:59
The key is not regulation (at least not in this sense), but making it physically impossible to damage society to any great degree. You can't regulate human nature away.
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March 22nd, 2012, 15:10
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The key is not regulation (at least not in this sense), but making it physically impossible to damage society to any great degree. You can't regulate human nature away.
And how exactly does one make it physically impossible to damage society without regulation?

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March 22nd, 2012, 15:23
Note "to any great degree". I don't see how it's possible to totally eliminate crime or otherwise detrimental behavior.

My thorough answer would be very long indeed, but a few ways to, theoretically, achieve something like that is:

Eliminate the symbol of value known as money.

Distribute resources evenly according to basic needs first, and then according to a world-wide petition system - for whatever is left over.

Incorporate chips with as much biological information as possible and global positioning in every single human being - and giving every single human being full access to all information about everyone at any given time - and let technology archive this information for future reference. Thus making an undetected crime virtually impossible. This means no privacy at all as we understand the concept today.

Those are three of the most vital requisites for the system I have in mind. Yes, I have a process that would theoretically make this possible - but no, I don't think it's going to happen in a thousand years.

The key difference between this and many other ways to achieve a better world society - is that technology is the primary means to achieve optimal governance - and not human beings. The role of human beings would be minimal - but still necessary at any feasible level of technology we can come up with today.
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March 22nd, 2012, 15:34
You're talking vast societal and psychological changes that at best would take centuries to effect. I am talking about operating today within society as it exists.

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March 22nd, 2012, 17:15
Actually, no. I have a procedure that would gradually make this possible - and my personal estimate is that most of what I'm talking about would be possible in less than 50 years.

The core of the procedure is to create a separate world society exclusively made up of informed volunteers - and the number would initially be very small, I expect. So as to minimise the impact on the current world society - so that people in power who're swept up in their own indulgence wouldn't counteract everything. There would be mutually beneficial trade and interaction between the two societies.

The idea is that, eventually, the advantages of the new society would be so obscenely plain - that everyone would want to exist there. This last part, however, could take hundreds of years - though I honestly don't think so.

It's fine wanting to work within the society that exists today, except that it's rotten to the core with more misery and injustice than words can describe.

If you think you can "regulate" human behavior successfully without altering the core - then I'd love to hear how you would accomplish that.
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March 22nd, 2012, 17:25
I would happily pick up a rifle to fight against everything you just laid out DArtagnan. And I would be far from alone.
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March 22nd, 2012, 17:31
I'm sure, but it wouldn't actually be a problem - because a necessary first step is to legalise the process of establishing a separate world society. As in, the current society would have to "greenlight" the new society - primarily based on mutual gain and feasible co-existence.

If you want to go kill volunteers because they want something else, that's your business. But you would naturally suffer the consequences of being a murderer in your current society.

This new society would suffer an endless stream of ignorant fanatics and violent offenders who have a problem using their brain for the good of posterity. That much is a given.

Education about the short-term and long-term consequences will naturally be available - but there will always be people unwilling to listen before acting.
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March 22nd, 2012, 17:39
So people should just lay down and be subjugated to DArtagnan's will because "theoretically" its whats best for everyone? Are you even a real person?
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March 22nd, 2012, 17:46
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Actually, no. I have a procedure that would gradually make this possible - and my personal estimate is that most of what I'm talking about would be possible in less than 50 years.
Even so, I'm concerned more with the next 5 years than the next 50. While you are implementing your slow paced revolution, the world would be crumbling around your ears.

The core of the procedure is to create a separate world society exclusively made up of informed volunteers - and the number would initially be very small, I expect. So as to minimise the impact on the current world society - so that people in power who're swept up in their own indulgence wouldn't counteract everything. There would be mutually beneficial trade and interaction between the two societies.

The idea is that, eventually, the advantages of the new society would be so obscenely plain - that everyone would want to exist there. This last part, however, could take hundreds of years - though I honestly don't think so.

This sounds a lot like what all those hippies did in the 60's when they went off to start communes and 'change the world.' They didn't succeed.

It's fine wanting to work within the society that exists today, except that it's rotten to the core with more misery and injustice than words can describe.
The world is better now that it has been thousands of years. Perfect? Not even close, but that statement is way over dramatic.

If you think you can "regulate" human behavior successfully without altering the core - then I'd love to hear how you would accomplish that.
We successfully regulated US markets for about 50 years for the most part. It wasn't until we started tearing down regulations enacted during the Great Depression that abuses became widespread and systematic.

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March 22nd, 2012, 17:51
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm sure, but it wouldn't actually be a problem - because a necessary first step is to legalise the process of establishing a separate world society. As in, the current society would have to "greenlight" the new society - primarily based on mutual gain and feasible co-existence.
You can already do this. People have done it for a long time. It just has never had any long or wide spread affect. One of the main reasons is a point that you already mentioned: human nature. Human nature isn't going to change just do to eduction.

And for this new society to surpass the current society it would have to produce something that is more attractive to the members of the current society, whether that be quality of life, economic production or whatever. So far, that has never happened and I don't think it is going to any time soon.

One of the fundamental problems you face is the same that communism faced (and ultimately caused its inefficiencies and eventual downfall), again human nature. Any system can be taken advantage of, and there will always be someone that tries to do so. The more regulations you put in place to prevent that (whether these be economic or behavioral), the more inefficient the system becomes, and the abuse actually becomes able due to people grabbing onto the power those regulations allow.

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March 22nd, 2012, 18:27
Originally Posted by CrazyIrish View Post
So people should just lay down and be subjugated to DArtagnan's will because "theoretically" its whats best for everyone? Are you even a real person?
What part of the extremely simple concept of "volunteer basis" are you failing to understand?
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March 22nd, 2012, 18:29
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Even so, I'm concerned more with the next 5 years than the next 50. While you are implementing your slow paced revolution, the world would be crumbling around your ears.
Ehm, it would be either way.

This sounds a lot like what all those hippies did in the 60's when they went off to start communes and 'change the world.' They didn't succeed.
Oh does it, now. I fail to see any resemblance, personally.

The world is better now that it has been thousands of years. Perfect? Not even close, but that statement is way over dramatic.
Yes, and how many years are you willing to wait?

We successfully regulated US markets for about 50 years for the most part. It wasn't until we started tearing down regulations enacted during the Great Depression that abuses became widespread and systematic.
Aren't you contradicting what you just said above?
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