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What sort of future do we want?

 
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject: What sort of future do we want? Reply with quote

Peak oil gives us an opportunity to think about the future. It may appear to some to be all gloom and doom but to me I think it?s a chance to start to build a better society for ourselves, one that is in balance with the environment. So here is what I think the future society could be like:

It would be in balance.

A balance between technology and ecology, supply and demand. That is we would only produce things that are wanted, when they are wanted. We would also produce things to last and / or are easily up graded. This would me less manufacturing in the long run. We would also recycle as much as is physically possible.

It would have no money.

The problem with money is it does not measure what your system is actually doing as it has the property of being able to be generated out of nothing. If the society of the future is in balance with nature we need a system that actually measures what is going on in order to control our production and maintain balance. For that we can use energy as all our systems require energy. All citizens of the future would have an equal share of the energy the society has available thus the society of the future would be an equally society. The down side would be there would be no profit making and no getting rich.

It would be more free.

If we only produced what we need and automated what we can we would need less production which can be translated into less working hours and more free time. The less time would not mean less pay as there would no pay anyway. Everyone would have an equal share in the energy available to produce things. Is suspect that this would lead to a growth in art and spirituality.

It would not be perfect

No society ever will be but with no money there would be less crime. Also there would be an openness that would allow criticism of the system as a self correcting mechanism.

Experts running the technology

Instead of politicians making technological decisions there would be a body of experts appointed to run the technology. They would be appointed on their technical ability. They would make sure that the methods of production run smoothly and in accordance with nature. They would not dictate over the people, the people would rule themselves and it would be the people who decide what is to be produced. The experts would be like the technical manager of a well run company.

This is really only just touching on the subject, we could mention housing, transport etc. but I will leave it there for now. Any comments?

Smile
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The only future we have is the one we make!

Technocracy:
http://en.technocracynet.eu

http://www.lulu.com/technocracy

http://www.technocracy.tk/
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can see this is a subject your are passionate about, and you must be doing something right as I've read a bunch of stuff about Technocracy since you started posting about it here!

I have some questions and some observations, if I may:

<< It would have no money >>
Didn't M King Hubbert also propose a kind of "energy credit" to both replace "money" and to accurately reflect energy usage in society?

<< The down side would be there would be no profit making and no getting rich. >>
Whilst I'm all for this in principle, I think you would need a transition methodology in order to move people form the current mindset to a new one.
One of the few good things that the drive-for-profit/capitalism does is encourage the individual to find ways to maximise effiiciency / production by givining them direct incentives - how could you translate this into a new paradigm? Or would you have to forego this whole aspect?

<< Experts running the technology >>
Isn't this more or less how western democracy is *SUPPOSED* to work anyway?
Aren't we supposed to elect a higher "board" of people that oversee teams of experts that make best use of the technology we have?
After all, the west is primarily a technology based society with a lot of technology groups and bodies.
Aren't we saying that in many respects Technocracy is just Democracy working as it should?


I don't think you can remove the basic concept of people electing their leaders - flawed tho this concept might be currently (people too stupid to make proper decisions over leader selection) it still has some huge positives that are really hard to do without - people grumble a lot less about the leaders they chose than ones that are appointed by others without them having any say in it (a la authocracy).

If you were to make more solid, well funded institutions staffed by only the countries brightest brains with a clear terms-of-reference, and these people picked the individuals that ran key jobs (much as you describe) and then you added an overseeing executive (much as you describe), as you not just describing the current system we have? ...only that our current system doesn't actually work as it should?

On the subject of transitioning to such a new paradigm, I do not see how you could do it in the Uk without a proper revolution (not nesseccarily bloodless) since a combination of big business and ingorant/deluded segments of the public would never ever EVER adopt a system were you cannot make profit, get rich or accumilate "money". How might we transition without a full blown revolution?

Technocracy seems to share some ideals and methods with communism, how would you respond to this?
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<< Didn't M King Hubbert also propose a kind of "energy credit" to both replace "money" and to accurately reflect energy usage in society?>>

Of course, he was a technocrat Smile

<< to find ways to maximise effiiciency / production by givining them direct incentives>>

Hmm ? don?t we waist a lot of our resources etc?

This is a good question and I think I will need to put a bit more time into answering so I hope its ok with you if I do that another day?

<< Isn't this more or less how western democracy is *SUPPOSED* to work anyway?>>

Not to my understanding. To me democracy is people ruling themselves and it is done in accordance with people opinions. As the majority are not always right when it comes to technology problems occur.

<< Aren't we saying that in many respects Technocracy is just Democracy working as it should?>>

Perhaps that could be an interpretation but we are not doing that at the moment. We are running technology to make a few people rich and destroying the world we live as we do it.

<< I don't think you can remove the basic concept of people electing their leaders>>

Agreed but that is not what is intended, technocracy comes in two parts, the running of the technology and the ruling of the people. The people part is democracy and the technology part is technocracy?s plan. Technocracy is like a video manual it tells you how to use the equipment for best performance but not what to watch or when or even if you should pass during the adverts. Technocracy?s plan is about organising and running production not for profit but so that it balances supply with demand and ecology. What you do with that production is up to the people (so long as it can be done physically).

I would like to write more but I have a train to catch. Maybe I can add to this tomorrow. Smile
_________________
The only future we have is the one we make!

Technocracy:
http://en.technocracynet.eu

http://www.lulu.com/technocracy

http://www.technocracy.tk/
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 859
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isenhand wrote:

Of course, he was a technocrat Smile


NIce Exclamation

isenhand wrote:

Hmm ? don?t we waist a lot of our resources etc?

This is a good question and I think I will need to put a bit more time into answering so I hope its ok with you if I do that another day?


Yes we waste a lot of resources ucrrently, but my question was about the cocnept of incentivising individuals to be productive and efficient.

By all means answer that at your leisure!

isenhand wrote:

Perhaps that could be an interpretation but we are not doing that at the moment. We are running technology to make a few people rich and destroying the world we live as we do it.


I totally agree with that !

But you could then say we need to fix the current system, not introduce a new one.

isenhand wrote:

Agreed but that is not what is intended, technocracy comes in two parts, the running of the technology and the ruling of the people. The people part is democracy and the technology part is technocracy?s plan. Technocracy is like a video manual it tells you how to use the equipment for best performance but not what to watch or when or even if you should pass during the adverts. Technocracy?s plan is about organising and running production not for profit but so that it balances supply with demand and ecology. What you do with that production is up to the people (so long as it can be done physically).


Ahh, that was not clear to me.

isenhand wrote:

I would like to write more but I have a train to catch. Maybe I can add to this tomorrow. Smile


Go right ahead!

Thanks for the info so far.
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snow hope



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2005 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to admit I haven't read enough about this yet, but I also detect some synergy with communism.......

Somehow we need to cater for mankinds desire to be different. Some people strive and work harder than others. How do we cater for this? Some people are lazy and do bugger all! Should they get exactly what others get? Not in my opinion! We are all different. I don't see how this is catered for - if it isn't I can't see how the system will work.

I agree we need to make more sensible use of technology.
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<But you could then say we need to fix the current system, not introduce a new one.>>

Is technocracy really a new system or a fix to the current one? What would need to be done to fix the current system? If you tried to fix it would you end up with technocracy?

<<Ahh, that was not clear to me.>>

I think that that does not come over well either. Technocracy is a plan for technology, not people.

<<as you not just describing the current system we have? ...only that our current system doesn't actually work as it should?>>

Not really, I don?t think we have a system where technically competent people direct our technology. Or at least they are not technically competent with the technology but my be competent with regards to using the technology to make a minority rich regardless of the cost to the rest of us! So I don?t think that we have that system at the moment.

<<On the subject of transitioning to such a new paradigm, I do not see how you could do it in the Uk without a proper revolution>>

That bit worries me but imagine the worse case scenario with regards to peak oil. Wouldn?t that bring about a revolution? Even with the best case scenario with peak oil there are other factors limiting our grow so sooner or later trouble will come! But maybe there is away to alleviate the suffering and make a peaceful revolution?

<<How might we transition without a full blown revolution?>>

In short I don?t know but I have been thinking about this and one possible way is to form a network of self-sufficient communities and a network of educated people. These two networks would be in a position to survive any economic collapse and rebuild society into a technate.

The self-sufficient communities would be self-sufficient in the sense that they produce their own food, electricity and manage their own waist but they would go beyond self-sufficient and have a bit of excess capacity so they could goods that are needed by other communities.

This would also by-pass politics and government.

<< Technocracy seems to share some ideals and methods with communism, how would you respond to this?>>

It has some over laps and some major differences. The overlaps would be communal ownership of the means of production as in a technate you would not be able to run your own factory to make a profit. However, communism is a political ideology but technocracy is a technical solution to a technical problem. If you had a communist state would you have democracy running the people side?

The main thing people worry about with the overlap of technocracy and communism is they feel there would be a lack of personal freedom. However, in a technate there should be less work to be done and more personnel freedom.

<< Somehow we need to cater for mankinds desire to be different.>>

I think that that will come out if people have more time to do what they want. I would expect more art, spiritualism and expressions of individuality as a result.

<< Some people strive and work harder than others. How do we cater for this?>>

There is a minimal level of work that people will need to do to keep things running. So long as people meet their minimum requirement that that is that. If people want to put more effort into things than that is good too. I think they will get their own reward in achieving things. Actually people do that today (just look at Linux) but I think our current system suppresses it.

<< Some people are lazy and do bugger all! Should they get exactly what others get?>>

If people don?t do their minimum share then that really becomes a people issue that the democratic system should be used to resolve. You could do some things like withdraw there share of the energy that society uses or something else. However, I don?t think that that will be a major problem. With automation and better production management there will be less work to do and very few people will refuse to do it. I think this will be better covered when I do a bit on motivation.

I?ll just add one point. Technocracy can be seen as a plan for society to manage its technology in a sustainable way. It is rooted in science (and can be seen as science applied to society). However, its not utopia nor is it perfect but it should be open to handle imperfections and be self regulating.

Also I would say that it?s a nice idea but needs more investigation and research to see if it is workable.


Smile
_________________
The only future we have is the one we make!

Technocracy:
http://en.technocracynet.eu

http://www.lulu.com/technocracy

http://www.technocracy.tk/
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isenhand



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 1296
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<One of the few good things that the drive-for-profit/capitalism does is encourage the individual to find ways to maximise effiiciency / production by givining them direct incentives - how could you translate this into a new paradigm? Or would you have to forego this whole aspect?>>

I think to answer this we need to look at work and classify it as enjoyable or not enjoyable. If the work is enjoyable people are self motivated and will enjoy doing the work. In that case it no longer work but becomes a hobby. Examples of this behaviour are things like Linux or voluntary work in charity shops. The motivation for making this efficient is with in the individual.

The problem comes with work that is not enjoyable or dangerous. The intention is that as much of possible of this kind of work as possible should be automated or otherwise minimised but there will still be some work that has to be done. Motivating people to do this work can be done by adding incentives such as more time off or earlier retirement but it could also be done by sharing the load (everyone gets a small bit of the less enjoyable work).

I don?t think this will be a problem partly because there would be very little work of an un-enjoyable nature and partly because people will be educated will enough that they would understand the necessities of such work. If things get so bad that there is necessary work not being done then you will have a problem and that is something the government would have to address at the time.

In general I don?t think there would be a motivation problem as people need to work. It may sound nice to be able to sit back and do nothing everyday but you would soon get bored.

Does that answer the question?

Smile
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The only future we have is the one we make!

Technocracy:
http://en.technocracynet.eu

http://www.lulu.com/technocracy

http://www.technocracy.tk/
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fishertrop



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the details responses - they've made my understanding of the subject much clearer.

It seems that "communisim" is such a dirty word, you can't have reasonable debate about anything related to it, people can't seem to see past the baggage. And anything that seems to have even associations with the C-word gets tarred with the same brush.

Even I find myself prefixing such debates with "before I go can I just say that I have no communist leanings whatsoever..." Crying or Very sad

As a system communism had some nice ideals, some worthy goals, but it seems that it is always doomed to failure as it encourages bad leadership, shocking corruption and either a straight line or a bendy path to failure.

It's often said that we don't know if communism really works since no country has really yet tried it in the world - all the so-called "red" countries have been primarily dictatorships.
But it strikes me that these countries ended up that way because the system the people chose let it / forced it to happen - you can't tell me that the october revolutionaries had the USSR end-game in mind when they siezed power??

I feel that if technocracy is going to both mould into something that europeans can accept and ensure it doesn't become dictatorship by another name, then I think we will have to have honest debate about similarities with the C-word system and also about the differences.

You've stated repeatidly that Technocary is the system for running the technology not running the people - but I don't think most europeans (or at least brits, me included) are sufficiently politcailly savvy to see the difference or seperate one type of system from another without some clear information - as you have provided here (I understand now!) but without which I had significantly misunderstood some key concepts of the system.

I hope this forum will add more to this debate
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MacG



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: What sort of future do we want? Reply with quote

isenhand wrote:
Peak oil gives us an opportunity to think about the future. It may appear to some to be all gloom and doom but to me I think it?s a chance to start to build a better society for ourselves, one that is in balance with the environment. So here is what I think the future society could be like:


To me, it is very simplistic. Just a few guiding principles, cut in rock. We can never predict the future in detail, but we can find a tight and true set of guiding principles to help us make decisions in the life to come:

http://jonathangullible.com/mmedia/PhilosophyOfLiberty-english_music.swf
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