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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Star Trek Vs. Babylon 5 Economic Futures (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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landmark
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What: A world where the available resources are distributed to allow everyone on the planet to lead a dignified life. A world where those who are most affected by decisions make the decisions.

How: Start from where we are: a place of no democracy, and no intelligent distribution of resources. Name the worldwide political/economic system in place now--capitalism. Understand how capitalism corrupts any semblance of political democracy. Understand how capitalism must end up with a few huge winners and lots and lots of losers. The only way capitalism can change is through workers uniting internationally to fight for their rights. Fail. Fail better. Win.

Hope that's not TL;DR

But I'm going to bow out of this thread as I don't want to divert it. I'm not an SF guy, and I think the OP and the other respondants have other fish to fry.
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You also have to ignore the fact that it has never worked before.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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On Nov 24, 2018, landmark wrote:
But I'm going to bow out of this thread as I don't want to divert it. I'm not an SF guy, and I think the OP and the other respondants have other fish to fry.



This is not a Scifi thread. I'm just using 2 series that had established societies as a point of reference. They are just templates. I could have used the world of Blade Runner; but a future where corporations rule was just too scary.

I'm digesting the rest of your post before I respond.
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On Nov 24, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
You also have to ignore the fact that it has never worked before.



Doesn't matter. It is a thought experiment.

Both series have one thing in common. One World Government. I think that is critical for any chance of those futures.

Human nature being what it is, I still believe there will always be a criminal element regardless of how much technology supplements/provides the populace.

Plus, you are always going to have people skate the system.
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Dannydoyle
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Ultimately someone has to be in charge. Human nature being what it is therefore you must pick a system. May as well pick one that is functioning.
Danny Doyle
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On Nov 24, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
Ultimately someone has to be in charge. Human nature being what it is therefore you must pick a system. May as well pick one that is functioning.



So Blade Runner it is... Smile
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Jonathan Townsend
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Blade Runner, R.U.R. and Star Wars work until the moment after the "droids" or "replicants" parse the phrases "self evident" and "created equal". Slavery again but this time dressed in metal spoken of in words about information and material technology. Smile

What holds a thing together? What limits the growth of a thing?

*Cosplay with purple Star Trek tunics and long leather jackets is not the same as a functioning economy. What notions propel intentional activity deemed useful? What drives toward "good" and what propels intention away from "bad"?
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On Nov 24, 2018, landmark wrote:
What: A world where the available resources are distributed to allow everyone on the planet to lead a dignified life. A world where those who are most affected by decisions make the decisions.

How: Start from where we are: a place of no democracy, and no intelligent distribution of resources. Name the worldwide political/economic system in place now--capitalism. Understand how capitalism corrupts any semblance of political democracy. Understand how capitalism must end up with a few huge winners and lots and lots of losers. The only way capitalism can change is through workers uniting internationally to fight for their rights. Fail. Fail better. Win.


I'm struggling with the ever tipping scales but I'll sally forth and accept the social engineering gnomes made it happen.

The workers rose up and seized control. Everyone on the planet is allowed to lead a dignified life. Reallocation of resources accomplished.

How are dissidents managed? What is the criteria for deciding those who are most affected? How is abuse prevented?

Are we to be controlled by the boot on the neck as in '1984' or will it be more of a 'Brave New World' with better living through chemistry?
*Yawn*
Jonathan Townsend
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On Nov 24, 2018, Mike Gainor wrote:
... Everyone on the planet is allowed to lead a dignified life. Reallocation of resources accomplished.

How are dissidents managed? What is the criteria for deciding those who are most affected? How is abuse prevented?

Are we to be controlled by ...

I think you nailed it with "managed/controlled". There's a gap between Adam Smith's invisible hand (Theory of Moral Sentiments) and traditional entitlements.
Even with an ideological proposition about responsibility and duty...verified by some new act of social/natural selection which is sanctioned as good rather than abuse. Smile
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landmark
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As if there were never a code of Law before?

This time the people most affected make it, rather than the powerful few.
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That's the crutch...

I still believe we are cavemen with cell phones and maybe in another 100,000 years we may actually be able to be less self-destructive. But I think I'm being optimistic with that timeline.
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On Nov 24, 2018, landmark wrote:
As if there were never a code of Law before?

This time the people most affected make it, rather than the powerful few.



Sure. What is the determining value of who is most affected? Wont that classification change with each modification?
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Jonathan Townsend
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Maybe the world of "Avatar" as a goal? They have something like USB compatibility and a tree of knowledge. That looks less grim-dark than Blade Runner (off world and replicants) or deterministic than Brave New World.

@Landmark, there's a notion of "iteration" where rules are applied to results - it's been with us since compound interest, jubilees, Markov Chains, and Conway's "game of life" back in the 1970s. It's science. Projecting outcomes is fiction. What do you project?
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Jonathan Townsend
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On Nov 24, 2018, landmark wrote:
...this time the people most affected make it, rather than the powerful few.
How would someone know if they are affected? What dialog process do you suggest when it comes to building dams and flooding valleys?
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Jonathan Townsend
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On Nov 24, 2018, Mike Gainor wrote:
... maybe in another 100,000 years we may actually be able to be less self-destructive. But I think I'm being optimistic with that timeline.
The term "we" is where I worry. The natural selection fairy might not bring what you're expecting. That's what motivates the story references.
No spoilers - just a quote from a story where people meet such a thing:
Quote:
"I'm more human than you've been for sixty-eight million years."
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We just need everybody to exceed their Dunbar Number as it relates to empathy.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Interesting extension of "theory of mind" to active empathic social process. Smile Taking self image as the "mean", what would you like to call the variation of "citizens" or "people" as regards normal transactions* in a society?

*A couple of more such standard deviations out - we don't say "hello" to our chairs, or "please" to our computers when we press the enter key.
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Our little tribal circles, bound by social contracts and selfish mutual need. Everyone working in their own greedy self-interests and huddling together with their tribe, at war with all those outside who they regard as barely human. What breaks a human mind out of that iron cage of mistrust, is a sacrifice. The martyr who gives up everything, who abandons all personal gain, who lays down his life for the good of those outside his group. He becomes a symbol all can rally around. So instead of trying to make a selfish, violent primate somehow empathize with the whole world, which is impossible, you only need to get him to remember and love the martyr. As one is forgotten, another must replace it.

-- David Wong, This Book Is Full of Spiders
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landmark
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On Nov 24, 2018, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Quote:
On Nov 24, 2018, landmark wrote:
...this time the people most affected make it, rather than the powerful few.
How would someone know if they are affected? What dialog process do you suggest when it comes to building dams and flooding valleys?


When you apply an actual will for democracy to technology, there can be imaginative and useful results. The mechanisms for democratic decision making have been investigated by many. Google parapolity and paragon.
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Congratulations, now you know the single reason why the world is the way it is. You see the problem right away-everything we do requires cooperation in groups larger than a hundred and fifty. Governments. Corporations. Society as a whole. And we are physically incapable of handling it.

So every moment of the day we urgently try to separate everyone on earth into two groups-those inside the sphere of sympathy and those outside. Black versus white, liberal versus conservative, Muslim versus Christian, Lakers fan versus Celtics fan. With us, or against us. Infected versus clean.

"We simplify tens of millions of individuals down into simplistic stereotypes, so that they hold the space of only one individual in our limited available memory slots. And here is the key-those who lie outside the circle are not human. We lack the capacity to recognize them as such. This is why you feel worse about your girlfriend cutting her finger than you do about an earthquake in Afghanistan that kills a hundred thousand people. This is what makes genocide possible. This is what makes it possible for a CEO to sign off on a policy that will poison a river in Malaysia and create ten thousand deformed infants. Because of this limitation in the mental hardware, those Malaysians may as well be ants."

-- David Wong, This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It
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