What are your thoughts about this Buckminster Fuller quote?
“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.” -Buckminster Fuller
I personally have been thinking along similar lines for a while, so it was quite interesting when I came across this quote recently. What are your thoughts on this quote? Do you think a system can be designed that can implement this philosophy? Discuss.
@jesus, I would put forward, that the majority of the writers, scientist, and philosophers, that have lived, were not motived by their stomachs, but by their curiousity and adventurous spirit. Secondly the vast majority of economists are idiots with confirmation bias’s, anyone who has the ability to think critically would not support a system so convoluted and inefficient. The only time “incentive” is recquired, is for manual or repetive labor that nobody would want to do, these jobs aren’t even crucial and can easily be automated. Then humanity can focus on real issues, mainly engineering a planetary society, as well colonizing the solar system.
I would say its possible people would be more motivated to provide value if earning a living wasn’t a concern. Of course we would never know until such a system was attempted, but if people didn’t have to earn a living they wouldn’t just sit around all day; yeah we all love to be lazy but even for the Patrick Stars of our world doing so all the time would eventually get pretty damn boring. People instead could put all of their focus into what they are passionate about, and thereby make the best contribution they are capable of in their area of interest.
@imhotep, sure a system like that could be created, but I don’t think technology is the way to achieve it. In fact with the issue of peak energy it does seem like the past century or two has been a bubble about to pop.
Even if the Venus Project were to succeed, can it guarantee that things like video games/television/mobile phone apps etc won’t be there to halt creativity? If people had no work to do, and no access to any of these entertainment technologies then I believe a system like this could work. You see this problem with the British welfare system where parents sit infront of their TVs all day because they have 5 kids and are getting enough money from the government to sustain their lifestyles.
Ultimately, I think it’s a new mindset that has to be created but I don’t have the answer to that one.
@mailliam, It seems to me you have to approach the problem scientifically as well as technocratically. You have to study the sociological effects of certain technologies before you, implement them into the society.
As far as energy is concerned there is geothermal, hydro-electric, wind, wave, tidal, photovoltaics, and solar thermal. Not to mention nuclear fission, which will soon be able to use Thorium as a replacement for Uranium. Nuclear Fusion is on the horizon as well. The majority of these methods are extremely under utilized.
The thought of a society like that makes me cringe.
“It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest.”
And why should he do that? What does he get in return? What have these masses done for him, or for anyone, or for the world? How are they anything but leaches? Why should anyone fuck with earth’s immune system to protect these parasites? The masses are meant to be weeded out, they are a burden on this planet and on every person around them.
If such a dystopia was ever to become real, that’s the day I walk out into the street armed to the teeth and fuck everything up Saints row style.
Evolution, justice, progress, personal responsibility, and the environment… these are awesome and important things. A “utopia” like the one you propose is all about trying to ruin these things, in order to satisfy a bunch of corrupt human egos. It’s rotten from the core, sickening.
If you can’t keep up without help, you’re supposed to die. That’s the main driving force of progress, avoid this natural process and you cause stagnation. And guess what, you can’t keep it up for long, a corrupt system is by default unstable and self-destructive, there is no way such a “utopia” could survive, and I doubt it could even be created. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING.
@imhotep, yes I agree with that. However televisions and the sort are already in society. Sure there are positive aspects of television but how would you correct the negatives? If you are talking about starting from absolute scratch then yes of course.
Yes you can list all of those, and it might sound like a lot but you also have to remember that for most of these technologies there is a peak in there somewhere too. And to implement them also requires fossil fuels. Plus there is also the issue of scale. I remember watching a documentary (Anima Mundi I think) that said we had around 400 nuclear plants in the world right now. For us to completely switch to using nuclear energy at the rate we are consuming it we would need around 7000 to be created. Now nuclear energy is insanely more efficient than wind and solar, so you can imagine the scale needed for a shift. Then there is the issue of nuclear waste… This all just brings me back to a change of mindset.
Is this idea something you are actively pursuing in your life?
@manimal, I think you have yet to grasp the advantages and efficiency that could be gained by alterior social and economic configurations. Not to mention the fact that humans with the assistance of computers, could much more effectively regulate an economy, then the “invisible hand” of the market.
@mailliam, It’s about engineering a planetary energy grid, remember you can also concievable utilize satellites to catch solar energy, and beam it to earth in the form of microwaves. At the end of the day it comes to how much work you can do with a given amount of energy, if the energy figure plateau’s you have to make all your systems more efficient so you can do more work with less energy, thats what are whole technological struggle is about, we just have to let it follow its natural course.
@imhotep If I have failed to grasp these advantages, please fill me in on that which I have missed.
More efficient? In what? And what’s the point of an economy if people don’t work to earn economic leverage? How do you plan on motivating people to make progress and keep development going? How do you plan to circumvent the unrest and disease that’s an inevitable side effect of stagnant/slow progress? How do you plan to keep the environment from collapsing while at the same time keeping billions of useless, dumb, very hungry, toxic parasites alive?
@manimal, let me answer these one at a time. More efficient in gathering, allocating, and distributing energy, what society is about. You are thinking about a capitalist market, an economy is simply a system created to spread resources, and as I’m sure you can tell our planetary economy is convoluted and wasteful, what with planned obselesence driving scarcity ensuring profit. You have to prove to me there would be slow progress, when you put the technicians and scientist in charge with logic and peer review not politics, being the driving force behind policy, then I think progress would increase exponentially. Well you build a shit load of nuclear reactors etc., you refine distribution networks, and you give them the education and technology necessary for them to become self sufficient, all while studying your methods effect on the ecology to ensure stability. All over the world we have seen that when a country industrializes their birth rates drop. Maybe you should ask that last question of the current system. Let me know if you want me to clarify something.
@manimal, On motivation, it seems to me people try to embody an ideal, for instances, people want to embody the american dream of being wealthy, young, intelligent, etc. In another configuration society would hold up other individuals as the ideal, individuals like Tesla, Einstein, Fresco, Fuller, etc.
@imhotep Gathering, allocating and distributing energy? What’s the point in that when people will only use it for shitty things? Dummies do dumb things, not smart things.
That’s what it’s all about, dummies. The only reason some people “can’t” support themselves is because they’re dummies. Artificial support won’t turn a dummy into a smarty, just like feeding a dog from a plate instead of a dog bowl won’t turn him into a human. Circumstances don’t make a man. A dummy is a dummy until he/she him/herself stops being dumb.
In today’s economy it’s easy to make lots of dough, if you’re poor it’s just because you’re doing things wrong and the solution is to simply do things right. Continually doing shit wrong and not making changes is just like beating your head against the wall over and over, it’s super dumb. Like Einstein said: “Doing the same thing repeatedly and excpecting different results is the definition of insanity.”
As for those power plants and stuff you mentioned, someone will have to operate them. That means WORK. And why should some people have to work while others dont? You’d have to either force them or pay them, or use some other form of manipulation. That’s how it’s always been, and there’s no way to avoid it, it’s a good thing.
The only reason dummies are kept alive, and smarties are talked into becoming dummies, is because it’s easy to make dummies do shit for you. So you’ve got this huge workforce of dummies, practically willing slaves, doing the work for you. Nobody’s forced into becoming a dummy, a dummy is a dummy by choice, a dumb choice.
Now, a dummy has no other value to society than doing this work. Take away this work, and the dummy is just dead weight that eats and shits, and on top of that the dummy will be bored and unmotivated which renders it even more useless. So what you’ve got is a leach, using up energy, wasting energy, not producing energy. Unless, of course, you find a way to absorb their life energy or simply turn them into food (both of which are very inhumane and sickening.)
This society is not unfair. Everyone gets an equal opportunity, a choice of becoming anything from a slave through an overlord. Most people squander this freedom, choosing to become slaves, they are the dummies.
Those things you blame the current system for are not at all flaws in the system but the actions of individuals. The tyrant and the victim are both doing shit wrong, or else the situation couldn’t exist. It’s all about individual actions, in fact a system is nothing more than a sequence of individual actions. The power is always with the people, not some elite group or some abstract concept called “society.”
A society of glory won’t be built by dummies, and it won’t be run by dummies, and it won’t operate on a workforce of dummies. There will never be equality as long as dummies are around… unless everyone stoops down to their level, which is even more sickening and wrong.
The solution is to just let mother nature do her thing, the problem will vanish and glory will ensue. Everyone has a choice in every moment, make progress or wither. Those who do not make progress should, by nature, die. It’s their own choice. It’s ALL ABOUT PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link. It’s not just a saying, it’s a law of reality.
@imhotep When it comes to population, it’s not the number that is the problem. The problem is what these individuals do. Most people don’t give any value whatsoever to humanity or society or the world, they just eat and shit and then they die. They’re nothing but a huge, nasty burden on mother earth.
Logic and science, the solution to every problem? Probably, but that requires proper execution of those things. And when the problem is caused by a stupid action, the solution is to simply stop repeating that stupid action. Such as all these problems caused by artificially getting in the way of nature’s course. Not only is it a solution, it’s THE ONLY solution. And another thing that’s funny is that the whole idea of this “utopia” ISN’T LOGICAL. So I’m starting to wonder which one you really believe in, logic or neo-communism.
As for the ideals thing, that is true yes. But everyone has a different ideal. Gathering people under a common cause REQUIRES a way to either force them (which is just horrible) or to offer them something of great value in return for their help with realizing your vision.
It is fully possible to have a society where everyone can follow their own bliss, embody their own ideal, realize their own vision… but the path you propose will never lead there, in fact it will lead in the opposite direction. This is simple, basic logic, the notion of this neo-communist society leading to freedom is fundamentally flawed and highly illogical.
And how is intellectualism a better ideal than vigor and power? I love those scientists and other great intellectuals, but damn they missed the point and while they were smart and figured shit out they failed at more fundamental levels. Like a fancy house with no foundation.
What we need is wholeness, individual wholeness is the only path to global wholeness, because the population is nothing but a vast number of individuals, and society and the environment are nothing but the result of the actions of these individuals.
This system isn’t fair man, you are claiming fairness within the system, but the system still does not allow fairness.
Just because you have the chance to get into the overlord position doesn’t mean you really have the chance. It is all about the people you know. I know a lot of lawyers that don’t make shit cause they don’t know anyone – they weren’t born into a wealthy family, so there is no way they are going to make it to the top unless they cut out 95% of their social stigma, which is going to be literally impossible. Yet, I know a bit fewer lawyers that were born into it – a wealthy family, or some really good friends in wealthy families basically giving opening the way to being an overlord, barring it from the non-friends.
It is a benefit to be able to befriend people, but it is not always easy to kiss someone’s ass who is a “dummy” who just got there from a long line of “dummys” and is now an overlord.
The system doesn’t put smart people on top. It puts the most determined. You don’t have to be clever to be the Koch brothers, you just have to really fucking want money. An obsession of it. THAT is how you get into an overlord position.
And plus, if you really are a smarty – you would realize that making money isn’t what it is about. Making money in this system is indirectly taking money from someone else. You want to make money? Realize you are indirectly contributing to the poverty of others by your gaining or pursuit of money. Not only that, your mother nature is almost directly seized in the gain of wealth.
“Growth” in an economy is equivalent to the destruction of the environment. KEep it up and nature won’t be able to sort it out. Nature will be a big fleshy mass of humans spewing out carbon and wondering why everyone has cancer.
@manimal, I see a lot of subjective assertions put forward without causal explanations. Yes, people would have to work at first, but those people are awarded by being the providers in the society, a position which holds many accolades, in most cultures. This would only be a stop gap tell we automate all of man’s industry to the highest possible extent. I entirely disagree that everyone has a chance to succeed, that doesn’t mathmatically make sense, when intelligence, and the amount of resources recquired for an individual to get enough knowledge to even be competive, are factored in, that statement is proven fallacious. Many people can’t worry about making “a lot of dough” they have to worry about scrounging enough food for themselves and their siblings that day. I agree the world has a lot of useless “dummies”, copper has a lot of useless (to us) electrons, but when you apply a gradient to that electron it has the potential to do work, similarly when you create the best environment in which to raise humans you double or triple their worth to society. I agree the flaws do ultimately come from individuals, the oligarchs who set up this modern system of serfdom are to blame. I also agree we should let mother nature do her thing, and as a intelligent ape, I will take it upon myself to be evolution’s tool. I’ve always heard when you have a weak chain, you forge a new one.
@manimal, the number is the problem, as well as what they do. People are a product of there environment. If the United States goes and takes a shit in Africa and the Middle East, it will only foster shitty people. No one is talking about neo-communism, more like technocratic socialism. You speak about nature’s course as if you know what it is, there is no course just entropy, and I am an agent of entropy as are you. I personally agree that utopia’s are illogical, but I don’t believe this to be a utopia, just a slightly higher level of order. Vigor and power, first of all I know many scientist who are quite vigorous, and wouldn’t the scientist be in positions of power under this possible system we’ve been discussing? I put forward once again, that human masses are like a fluid, they take the path of least resistence. So if you manipulate the landscape you direct the fluid. Thats how you change the world, that along with being the change you want to see in the world.
@imhotep Without causal explanations? The only places where I left out explanations were the self-explanatory parts. And I assume (and hope) that someone who goes to a discussion forum to propose a new paradigm of humanity is not a dummy. You don’t seem like a dummy, so I shouldn’t have to explain basic stuff. Just like you left out a lot of explanations, equally assuming that the rest of us are not too dumb to understand basic stuff.
People awarded by being labelled “providers.” Sure that would work if everyone was an attention- and validation whore whose self-image is based on others’ opinions. Such a person is, without exception, a weakling. A weakling is not reliable as a provider. And again, using this validation to motivate them is just like using money, but a lot cheaper and more manipulative.
Rising up through society doesn’t require much resources or knowledge, just offering value. And there is no lack of knowledge that cannot be solved by simply thinking different. All this stuff about “no time to worry” is nothing but excuses, excuses are what make dummies and weaklings of people. Not to mention that the purpose of getting money is getting food, resources are resources all the same. The mathematical aspect of the assumption is false as well, everyone can succeed if everyone does a good job. It’s all about cause and effect, smart successful people know this and explain it over and over, but the dummies don’t listen.
The electrons in copper aren’t useless at all, not to the copper and not to us. A better environment will raise people’s worth to society? Excuse me, but this is hilarious. Society can’t lift people up or force them down, it’s the other way around. SOCIETY IS THE SUM TOTAL OF THE PEOPLE IN IT, AND NOTHING BUT.
The oligarchs are not to blame, they too are just a result from the sum total of the actions of the masses. The power structure is caused by this as well. The masses are like a pond, the elite is like a bobber, the only reason the elite is floating is because of the masses, the masses caused the situation, they even caused the elite bobber to form. It’s just a result, it’s all about cause and effect.
If you want to be evolution’s tool, then why are you fighting the very force of evolution and trying to remove its driving force?
Actually forging a new better chain in this context means discarding society and the masses and building a new society with the right people. Reforging it from the same material would require world war and ages of recovery and natural cycling of materials.
Use a bit of logic and you’ll see.