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Thread: Would you want to live in a Utopian society?

  1. #1 Would you want to live in a Utopian society? 
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    Imagine a perfect world. There's no such thing as poverty in this world, but if you want to work extra hard you can be rich. No serious crimes are committed because the authorities are able to perfectly detect and prevent every attempt - all without invading anyone's privacy (somehow).

    Would that world be interesting enough to live in? Do you think people would get bored out of their minds and start committing suicide?


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    All "utopias" must necessarily fail. They're very much a 19th century idea. A child of the unhappy marriage of philosophy and religion of the time, with the in-laws of prejudice, ignorant scientism and 'perfectibility of man' nagging from the sidelines.

    When you don't take account of the well-known, ineradicable preferences of people in family arrangements, take Israel's kibbutzim for example, your 'ideal' society falls apart. When you don't look carefully at your own history or the culture you've grown used to, you're destined to repeat the mistakes you're trying to eliminate. Russia's communists wanted to eradicate secret police, the privileged classes, repression of women, inequality, hunger and poverty - and where did they finish up within a decade or so of getting rid of the czarists? Full circle right back where they started. Same old stuff, different uniforms.

    The best way to achieve anything remotely like a utopia is to acknowledge and account for ordinary human failings and cultures. Pretending that you can build a perfect (or as near perfect as dammit is to swearing) society and that will improve people's circumstances in ways that means they will 'improve' their behaviour in ways that maintain it is a recipe for failure.


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    No serious crimes are committed because the authorities are able to perfectly detect and prevent every attempt
    There's the rub. What AIE for example, and what I would say are crimes, would be significantly different in areas of civil and political liberties.
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    I was kind of trying to start at the end, with the Utopian society already having been successful, and ask if it would even be a life worth living, but if you want to make this thread a discussion about whether they are indeed possible or not - I guess that would be interesting too.

    As I see it, the main obstacles in building a utopia are:

    1) - Funding it
    2) - Getting the police/government to live by the same standards it's attempting to impose on the population.

    If the police are too successful, the criminals just join the police force. And of course, most Utopian dreamers don't worry enough about the economy.


    However there are a few ways it could happen.

    1) - Good people.

    Some kind of extreme selection process leads to a population 100% composed of highly intelligent, non-criminal-minded, individuals. Basically, John Galt has his way and builds a society composed only of the best and the brightest - people who are capable of earning their way to success and thereby feel no need to steal it. The people Mr. Galt doesn't choose simply don't live in the Utopia.

    2) - Automation

    A super computer capable of programming itself (so it needs no outside help) is set up, and runs the government. The police force is composed of android robots under the computer's control. Since they are not self aware, they do not experience greed, and therefore never attempt to abuse their power.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    No serious crimes are committed because the authorities are able to perfectly detect and prevent every attempt
    There's the rub. What AIE for example, and what I would say are crimes, would be significantly different in areas of civil and political liberties.
    Good point. Suppose we limit it, then, to just saying that no acts of physical violence are ever perpetrated successfully by anyone unpunished. When it does happen the perpetrator absolutely always gets caught and serves a minimum of 2 years in prison. People who feel they are at risk of doing so accidentally are expected to take medications to help them control their temper (and these medications are always 100% successful at eliminating the desire.)
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    Good point. Suppose we limit it, then, to just saying that no acts of physical violence are ever perpetrated successfully by anyone unpunished. When it does happen the perpetrator absolutely always gets caught and serves a minimum of 2 years in prison.
    You and I, and most people could probably agree with that. But some could not, so it wouldn't be their utopia. Then of course is the devil in the details--should a person who gives their mate a spanking from time to time after they've begged for it as part of forplay spend two years in prison? Is prison the best idea even when the violence is unmistakably coerced and harmful? Or would therapy be a better choice--or some combination etc.

    And to coin an argument from Dannial Dennett, who's to say that even an well founded evidence-based ideal society that minimizes suffering is ONE solution; couldn't there be many such possible societies?
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; February 16th, 2012 at 10:19 PM.
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    "Would that world be interesting enough to live in? Do you think people would get bored out of their minds and start committing suicide?"

    How can you be not bored out of your mind since you dont have the goal of struggling in mud and grasp at rats to survive? Would you not rather live like a caveman where you have the challenge of not knowing if you will eat or be eaten the following day? Afterall, theres nothing else to do here in our utopian (from a caveman's perspective) society besides struggling to eat roots and seek shelter in dismal caves, or is there? THere's no longer any need for hunting per say, well theres more to do than that, and hunting is not a death struggle choir but a leisure, which to a caveman would be strange.
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    Must have a go at this. John Galt, I can't believe what kojax posted concerning your desire to gather nerds about you. This is not true, surely. I choose not to believe it. I can't help thinking that Alice in Wonderland had an exciting life, I especially liked the Cheshire Cat. Not forgetting Dormouse. The Yellow Brick Road promised much, but that wicked wizard, now, wasn't he trying to have Utopia? And another thing, if we are going to build a Utopia, I would like to see the Munchkins included. westwind.
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    In my utopia no two places would be the same except some basic standards necessary for practical considerations. One homogenious global society wouldn't make be commit suicide, but it would deny us one of the greatest means to enrich ourselves by experiencing the enormously rich cultural differences humans are capable of.

    We get the most pleasure and life satisfaction from experiences not accumulating material crap.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; February 17th, 2012 at 09:04 AM.
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    Split the world into a series of small towns (and a few big towns) that each have their own standards? It's not a bad idea. Then people could choose which "utopia" they prefer, and maybe they'd all come close to being accommodated. I can think of this in terms of MMORPG games (Massively Multiplayer Online RPG Games). There are a lot of them, each appealing to a different fan base. I can think of at least 10 off hand that I would never want to play in a million years, and maybe 5 I might really enjoy. And also I'm sure that there are some people who just plain don't enjoy that sort of thing at all, regardless of the game. But, I think that each game is a utopia for someone, or else why would they spend good money to pass their time there?

    The next problem we'd face is children, since they don't get to choose where they'll grow up. Perhaps the utopia would be an experience you only really got to have as an adult? Or maybe people who had children would be required to raise them in "child friendly" utopias?
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    Utopias are cartoons - grossly oversimplified, essentially shallow forms of science fiction.

    Example: What would be the effects of, as proposed above, eliminating all violence and threats of violence between people? My prediction is that you will soon discover that there were some very important benefits from it, that its role in human life is complex. It can do a person good to get in a fight once a while, win or lose, right? What would you predict for the adult character of a young boy who avoids physical violence at all costs, in all circumstances?
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    Psychologists believe that most of people would prefer to live in society where they are rich and anyone surrounding them
    are poor.For example they asked people: if you would have a choise between two: 1)You will receive 60.000 $ a year and your neighbour gets 30.000 $ a year. 2)You get 100.000 $ a year and your neighbour gets 200.000 $ a year.
    Most of people prefered 1-st variant.
    But because most of people realize that they can`t live better than their neighbours without a miracle to happen,and their attention is concentrated on someone who live better than they do,they orginize movemets for higher equality between people.At least in some countries.

    I dont think that getting richer in absolute messures makes your life boring.Probably for most of people it`s contra.
    Rich people have more access to the plesures than poor people do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    It can do a person good to get in a fight once a while, win or lose, right?

    I can tell you what happens is you soon find that the same people are able to win all the time. It's not "win or lose" if you're not in the group that always wins. It's just lose.

    Quote Originally Posted by iceaura View Post
    What would you predict for the adult character of a young boy who avoids physical violence at all costs, in all circumstances?
    In a society where nobody is allowed to fight, there would never be a cost associated with backing out of a fight. Unilateral pacifism sucks, but I'm talking about universal pacifism.
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    A super computer capable of programming itself (so it needs no outside help) is set up, and runs the government. The police force is composed of android robots under the computer's control. Since they are not self aware, they do not experience greed, and therefore never attempt to abuse their power.
    Another technological utopia.It seems we already discussed something like thing on this forum.
    In order to outsmart all the criminals the Supercomputer should be more creative than any human on Earth.And foresee development of
    any technology (as well as its criminal misuse) before any human.Therefore it should be a God-like concious creature.There is some phylosophycal idea that creature can never supersede it`s own creator.Because how humans could describe (and therefore to create) something more supernatural than they are themself?
    In order to protect itself from a criminals the Supercomputer will need survival instinct.Also it will need to constantly develop itself.
    Therefore it will convert into a usual biological creature which have all the instincts of another developed living beings such as survival instinct and tendency to territorial expansion.If you hope it will be non-corrupted then define word ``corruption``. I don`t see what will one day to prevent the Supercomputer to use most of world labor and resources to expand and improve its own body untill the point when largest part of Earth territory and even Earth crust will be converted in the Supercomputer body.And there will be less and less place for a people to live.And everything this will be done `` in the best interests of humans``.Then the Supercomputer will demand reduction of Earth population by having only one child per family and will eliminate unnecessary people altogether.Honesly, I don`t see what will enforce the Supercomputer value its on life and interests lower than that of people.In any case it will have to balance between its own survival interests and interests of people.As with any other biological creature in this World, its own iterests will ultimately prevail.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    A super computer capable of programming itself (so it needs no outside help) is set up, and runs the government. The police force is composed of android robots under the computer's control. Since they are not self aware, they do not experience greed, and therefore never attempt to abuse their power.
    Another technological utopia.It seems we already discussed something like thing on this forum.
    In order to outsmart all the criminals the Supercomputer should be more creative than any human on Earth.And foresee development of
    any technology (as well as its criminal misuse) before any human.Therefore it should be a God-like concious creature.There is some phylosophycal idea that creature can never supersede it`s own creator.Because how humans could describe (and therefore to create) something more supernatural than they are themself?
    Another possibility would be for the computer to prevent potential criminals from having access to the necessary knowledge base to be able to learn to become good criminals. If all the criminals in the starting generation are wiped out or otherwise quarantined somewhere they can't communicate with the rest of the population, then each new generation would have to "re-invent the wheel" so to speak.

    The computer, being immortal, would always have the advantage of experience. Those who embarked on their life of crime would be comparative novices, and their careers would never last long enough for them to improve their skills.


    In order to protect itself from a criminals the Supercomputer will need survival instinct.Also it will need to constantly develop itself.
    Therefore it will convert into a usual biological creature which have all the instincts of another developed living beings such as survival instinct and tendency to territorial expansion.If you hope it will be non-corrupted then define word ``corruption``. I don`t see what will one day to prevent the Supercomputer to use most of world labor and resources to expand and improve its own body untill the point when largest part of Earth territory and even Earth crust will be converted in the Supercomputer body.And there will be less and less place for a people to live.And everything this will be done `` in the best interests of humans``.Then the Supercomputer will demand reduction of Earth population by having only one child per family and will eliminate unnecessary people altogether.Honesly, I don`t see what will enforce the Supercomputer value its on life and interests lower than that of people.In any case it will have to balance between its own survival interests and interests of people.As with any other biological creature in this World, its own iterests will ultimately prevail.
    That's a pretty cool description of a "computer take over the world" scenario, I think. A computer doesn't actually have to become fully sentient like a human being in order to fall prey to "mission creep", and start accumulating an excessive share of the resources in order to guarantee its own success.

    The original programmer would need to specify a parameter, where the computer considers its mission to be to use no more than X amount of resources in the process of achieving its primary objective, and using more than X would mean it had failed in its mission.
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    That's a pretty cool description of a "computer take over the world" scenario, I think. A computer doesn't actually have to become fully sentient like a human being in order to fall prey to "mission creep", and start accumulating an excessive share of the resources in order to guarantee its own success.

    The original programmer would need to specify a parameter, where the computer considers its mission to be to use no more than X amount of resources in the process of achieving its primary objective, and using more than X would mean it had failed in its mission.
    The Supercomuter does`t need to be even sentient like a human to start to accumulate resources.It need only have a survival instinct.
    If it will be core programmed to a accumulate only certain (small amount of resources) what will prevent smart criminals pretending for a world dominance secretly launch a project on Mars and create self expanding Supercomputer which will grow without limit?Once criminal Supercomputer will become larger and therefore more powerfull than original Supercomputer it will outsmart the later and help hunta take over the World.

    One of the largest problem here is relation of the Supercomputer to creativity.If it will not develop new technologies and scientific concepts and this task will be remained for a scientists, then what will prevent some scientist to become an evel genius and take over the World?If the Supercomputer will be more creative than humans and predict and develop any technology and scientific theory then it will be hardly compatible with any hardwired programing and may become an evel genius on its own.To be creative and to be programmed is highly unlikely in the same time.

    All living creatures on the Earth compete for resources.This not relevent if they are organic or inorganic.The more important whether they have a material body which needs to be protected,developed and take care of.If some creature will become having limited survival instincts then it will be ultimately destroyed by competitors and those with stronger instincts will survive.I guess the evolution of the
    Supercomputer will follow exactly the same pattterns.You won`t be able to stop Darvinism at that point.
    Last edited by Stanley514; February 19th, 2012 at 06:33 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    That's a pretty cool description of a "computer take over the world" scenario, I think. A computer doesn't actually have to become fully sentient like a human being in order to fall prey to "mission creep", and start accumulating an excessive share of the resources in order to guarantee its own success.

    The original programmer would need to specify a parameter, where the computer considers its mission to be to use no more than X amount of resources in the process of achieving its primary objective, and using more than X would mean it had failed in its mission.
    The Supercomuter does`t need to be even sentient like a human to start to accumulate resources.It need only have a survival instinct.
    If it will be core programmed to a accumulate only certain (small amount of resources) what will prevent smart criminals pretending for a world dominance secretly launch a project on Mars and create self expanding Supercomputer which will grow without limit?Once criminal Supercomputer will become larger and therefore more powerfull than original Supercomputer it will outsmart the later and help hunta take over the World.
    You're assuming criminals emerge in the first place, and manage to establish themselves well enough to organize a trip to Mars. How would they do that? Where would they be earning their money if they can't commit crime while they wait for the project to complete? Honest work?



    All living creatures on the Earth compete for resources.This not relevent if they are organic or inorganic.The more important whether they have a material body which needs to be protected,developed and take care of.If some creature will become having limited survival instincts then it will be ultimately destroyed by competitors and those with stronger instincts will survive.I guess the evolution of the
    Supercomputer will follow exactly the same pattterns.You won`t be able to stop Darvinism at that point.
    If the economy is booming, then why would they need to compete to get resources? I understand competing when resources are scarce, but when they're abundant it's not much of a competition. Everyone who shows up wins just for showing up.

    This does bring up one important detail of a utopia, though: It would have to involve population control.
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    Start by defining what "utopia " is.
    Next, determine how far we have come. Are we 20% of the way to utopia? 40%? 60%?

    The thing that most people totally overlook, is that we are already well on the way. Every generation lives better than the previous. We have more food, better medical care, more wealth, and our life span grows, each generation.

    What is utopia? Whatever it is, we are getting closer.
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    "It can do a person good to get in a fight once a while, win or lose, right?"
    Seeing public beheading is good for the character, it show how life is precious, Saudi Arabia is leading the way for a progressive tomorrow. Gladiators killing each other as a form of entertainment is wholesome family fun, it shows Romans the virtues of being a patrician and its good for kids. A little torture never hurt anyone, who needs nails anyway, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, so the victim should thank the torturer for making him even more though, no society should be without a decent amount of torture. When you have a problem nothing says I have grown beyond the lizard brain and "Im intelligent enough to solve interpersonal problems" more than bashing someone's molars out and shaking his brains with a good cerebral commotion, hum - hum, the only thing that could possibly be better would be walking hunched with animal skins and a club, now you're talking!

    I guess we can each have our own version of a Utopia
    In my version of Utopia there would be martial arts as part of the school curriculum starting with a variation of Judo, but kids would be tough to bridge differences and seek solutions by non violent means (in addition to first aid, etc).

    As for Computers, these would be tools, no more no less, controlled by humans with open source methods with the code and logic transparent and accessible to all as well as all educational material.

    You would have access to comforts for free at distribution centers, and would not work because you have to (at all or more than 2 days a week while automation is in progress), but work instead on projects that are of interest to you while having instant easy access to the priorities of the community.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Start by defining what "utopia " is.
    Next, determine how far we have come. Are we 20% of the way to utopia? 40%? 60%?

    The thing that most people totally overlook, is that we are already well on the way. Every generation lives better than the previous. We have more food, better medical care, more wealth, and our life span grows, each generation.

    What is utopia? Whatever it is, we are getting closer.
    That's true in the first world.... well... kind of. If the economy continues to decline it won't be truer tomorrow than it is today.

    I would say a utopia is a place where the average person spends only a tiny fraction of their available time on subsistence. You work maybe 20 hours a week to meet your basic needs like food, housing, electricity, and healthcare, and then if you want to keep working after that the money goes into stuff like i-pods, big screen TV's, and sport/utility vehicles. Clearly it would be unreasonable for people to expect luxury without working a few extra hours to get it.

    The direction we're headed is one where you work 60+ hours to get your basic needs.

    The other part of Utopia is for nobody to have to suffer the worst fates, such as outright slavery, or torture, or rape.
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    "Clearly it would be unreasonable for people to expect luxury without working a few extra hours to get it. "
    I'll see your Utopia, and raise it to a moneyless one where you both work less than 20 hours for subsistence(lets say 18 just to undercut yours ) and get a decent amount of comforts and electronics included for free. You take a recent model of whatever (iphone, tv, watch) like a book from the public library and return it to switch it for a new model. You have access to free education material, support and tools to work on your favorite interests the rest of the time and get in contact with people that share the same passion, and have a list of the communities most favored/priority projects and can keep track of various projects. Of the projects that are highlighted are those that prevent the need for a task or automate the task for which there are less volunteers and greater priority.
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    My utopia is one that we have already partially achieved. Average lifespan globally is now 67.2 (versus less than 30 in the year 1900), and is 80 in my country. We are healthier than ever before, with most infectious diseases under control. Even AIDS has stopped accelerating in cross infection for the first time. Smallpox is extinct, and polio is soon to follow.

    Violence is less now than it has ever been in history.
    Steven Pinker: Violence Is Lower Than Ever: Scientific American Podcast

    The detractors to my thesis will, of course, point out current and future problems. However, humanity has always faced problems. We now have better tools to deal with problems than any time in the past. NewScientist claims that total knowledge will double in the next 40 years, and our technological capbility will also increase massively.

    Humanity will never be free of problems, but human welfare continues to get better and better, in spite of those problems.

    In the mean time, the long term trend is to an increase in material wealth. Poor countries with non corrupt government now are growing in wealth very well. For example : Indonesia, once a basket case in Asia, has an economic growth rate of 6% per year. Even in Africa, where corruption is rife, there is economic growth.
    http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-s.../eg/index.html

    I quote :

    "Economies in many African countries have shown tremendous growth. Between 1994 and 2009, per capita growth rates averaged more than 3 percent per year, and average incomes have increased 50 percent."

    So, in spite of a temporary recession, the world as a whole is getting wealthier, and human welfare grows. Forget about hypothetical utopias. Humanity is creating one right now.
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    You're assuming criminals emerge in the first place, and manage to establish themselves well enough to organize a trip to Mars. How would they do that? Where would they be earning their money if they can't commit crime while they wait for the project to complete? Honest work?
    Don`t you permit that criminals could be inherently rich?Or you mean in utopian society everyone would have the same amount of money and nobody would be rich enough?

    I think that in our world exist fundamental law when any kind of organized matter compete for resources.Maybe evolution will go farther in the future and switch to some new more developed forms such as non-organic artificial intelligence.But it will not probably eliminate competition! Resources are always scarce.How then you explain constant wars between humans for land and resources?Competition will just swith to a new, more advanced level.There exist competition between different states and perhaps even interplanetary!
    Those who consume smaller amount of resources will get slaggish in development and loose competition to more advanced organized matter forms.For example if American Supercomputer will be programed to consume X % of national resources then Austronezians will program their Supercomputer to consume 10 times more resorces and make it more advanced.Therefore they will take over the World.
    The same relates to self competition beween Supercomputers if they would be self-programming and self-developing.
    Do not forget that currently developed countries consume 80% of world resources (including oil and many other) while having minority of population.In turn high energy and resources consumption leads to faster development (including military) and securing even larger share of World`s resources.

    Do you believe that such task as eliminating crime completely could be charged to programmed computer?
    I don`t think that our own definition of crime is based on some kind of ``programing``. Often it is based rather
    on common sense.Our world is changing and crime is changing as well.Who will program Supercomputer to deal
    with new kind of crime?And who will be entrusted to solve situations when interests of some people should be
    sacrificed to other people?
    Last edited by Stanley514; February 20th, 2012 at 10:27 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    You're assuming criminals emerge in the first place, and manage to establish themselves well enough to organize a trip to Mars. How would they do that? Where would they be earning their money if they can't commit crime while they wait for the project to complete? Honest work?
    Don`t you permit that criminals could be inherently rich?Or you mean in utopian society everyone would have the same amount of money and nobody would be rich enough?
    Yeah. I guess in my utopia some people would be rich enough, and maybe they'd have criminally minded children. Perhaps the computer should define its resource limit in terms of a percent of the world's wealth, so if people get richer, the computer also gets to use more resources to monitor them.


    I think that in our world exist fundamental law when any kind of organized matter compete for resources.Maybe evolution will go farther in the future and switch to some new more developed forms such as non-organic artificial intelligence.But it will not probably eliminate competition! Resources are always scarce.How then you explain constant wars between humans for land and resources?Competition will just swith to a new, more advanced level.There exist competition between different states and perhaps even interplanetary!
    To be honest, I think the source of all of this is population growth. At least I think that's where the Darwinian instinct comes from. Once the population reaches a certain tipping point, society is forced to become unequal. That's the only way to decide who will go without the things they need. Once society becomes unequal, people will fight to move upward to a higher status out of fear that if they don't fight to get to the top, someone below will take their place and push them to the bottom. It's really sad.

    I'm not saying its impossible for this to occur in a small population, but I think the likelihood of it happening is dramatically larger in an overpopulated country versus an underpopulated one. In a society where the lowest class of person has all their needs met, people would naturally be less afraid of ending up on the bottom.

    Get rid of the cause for the instinct, and we can breed it out of ourselves gradually over time.


    Those who consume smaller amount of resources will get slaggish in development and loose competition to more advanced organized matter forms.For example if American Supercomputer will be programed to consume X % of national resources then Austronezians will program their Supercomputer to consume 10 times more resorces and make it more advanced.Therefore they will take over the World.
    The same relates to self competition beween Supercomputers if they would be self-programming and self-developing.
    Do not forget that currently developed countries consume 80% of world resources (including oil and many other) while having minority of population.In turn high energy and resources consumption leads to faster development (including military) and securing even larger share of World`s resources.
    In that case, we should make it illegal to build such computers. Then the anti-crime computer can stop the other, bigger computer from ever getting built.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    To be honest, I think the source of all of this is population growth. At least I think that's where the Darwinian instinct comes from. Once the population reaches a certain tipping point, society is forced to become unequal. That's the only way to decide who will go without the things they need. Once society becomes unequal, people will fight to move upward to a higher status out of fear that if they don't fight to get to the top, someone below will take their place and push them to the bottom. It's really sad.

    I'm not saying its impossible for this to occur in a small population, but I think the likelihood of it happening is dramatically larger in an overpopulated country versus an underpopulated one. In a society where the lowest class of person has all their needs met, people would naturally be less afraid of ending up on the bottom.
    Where do you get this idea from, Kojax?

    The real world has shown the exact opposite trend. As population grows, a larger and larger percentage of the world has become democratic and embraced human rights. The larger the population, the more equal we all become. Gone are the days of kings and queens, lords, earls, and bloody aristocrats of all flavours.

    Historically, smaller populations were in the past, and in that past, there was a hell of a lot more violence, and homicides, executions, and deaths in wars, as a percentage of the total male population. Or have you not read the Pinker reference?

    The same trend has seen more and more wealth at all sectors of society. Not more equal wealth, of course. But the poorest are less poor today than at any time in human history. The larger population correlates with better human welfare.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Imagine a perfect world. There's no such thing as poverty in this world, but if you want to work extra hard you can be rich. No serious crimes are committed because the authorities are able to perfectly detect and prevent every attempt - all without invading anyone's privacy (somehow).

    Would that world be interesting enough to live in? Do you think people would get bored out of their minds and start committing suicide?

    And, um, what about those who believe in re-incarnation.......like zUtopia outdid them?
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    A perfect world to me would have to be on another planet that is much larger then this one with unlimited resources. No need for competition, therefore no crime, and you don't age past 20 years old in the physical body but mature in the mind through experience. Population control would be that not every individual is programmed to want to reproduce offspring and would be limited to a selected few or remove the reproduction process altogether and never die.
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    Get rid of the cause for the instinct, and we can breed it out of ourselves gradually over time.
    I think that society would develop faster if people with better qualities would have more children
    than those with lower qualities.Mostly I mean mental rather than physical qualities.The same relates to
    bigger share of resources in favour of more advanced people.Should you somehow stimulate creativity?
    I guess you won`t be able to get development sluggish forever.And bigger population (up to a certain limit)
    means faster development because more people=more scientists.Different countries will never agree on
    the same actions in this directions.Because not all of them are equally stupid.For example if Europeans will
    ban ``cloning`` and disappear then Japanese will permit ``cloning`` and will take over the world.Development is impossible to stop.
    Last edited by Stanley514; February 21st, 2012 at 12:18 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    To be honest, I think the source of all of this is population growth. At least I think that's where the Darwinian instinct comes from. Once the population reaches a certain tipping point, society is forced to become unequal. That's the only way to decide who will go without the things they need. Once society becomes unequal, people will fight to move upward to a higher status out of fear that if they don't fight to get to the top, someone below will take their place and push them to the bottom. It's really sad.

    I'm not saying its impossible for this to occur in a small population, but I think the likelihood of it happening is dramatically larger in an overpopulated country versus an underpopulated one. In a society where the lowest class of person has all their needs met, people would naturally be less afraid of ending up on the bottom.
    Where do you get this idea from, Kojax?

    The real world has shown the exact opposite trend. As population grows, a larger and larger percentage of the world has become democratic and embraced human rights. The larger the population, the more equal we all become. Gone are the days of kings and queens, lords, earls, and bloody aristocrats of all flavours.


    Historically, smaller populations were in the past, and in that past, there was a hell of a lot more violence, and homicides, executions, and deaths in wars, as a percentage of the total male population. Or have you not read the Pinker reference?
    Carrying capacity and technology in general has increased a lot in the same time frames. My hypothesis is that when the population increases relative to the carrying capacity of the resources in an area to the point of exceeding it, that at that point something has to give.



    The same trend has seen more and more wealth at all sectors of society. Not more equal wealth, of course. But the poorest are less poor today than at any time in human history. The larger population correlates with better human welfare.
    The flaw here, in your reasoning, is that the areas where the specific growth occurred have fared worse than those areas of the world where the growth didn't occur. Sure, things are better right now in China, India, or Mexico, than they've been in the past, but they aren't as dramatically improved as they are in other areas of the world where the population remained stable.

    Some notable exceptions could be cited. Russia, for example, is not having trouble with an increase of population and conditions aren't exactly pristine there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbi View Post
    A perfect world to me would have to be on another planet that is much larger then this one with unlimited resources. No need for competition, therefore no crime, and you don't age past 20 years old in the physical body but mature in the mind through experience. Population control would be that not every individual is programmed to want to reproduce offspring and would be limited to a selected few or remove the reproduction process altogether and never die.
    So technological immortality would be a good thing, coupled with an end to reproduction (necessary counter-balance to an unlimited lifespan.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    My hypothesis is that when the population increases relative to the carrying capacity of the resources in an area to the point of exceeding it, that at that point something has to give.
    How does this tie in with the facts that world population growth is slowing and will probably stop at around 10 billion, then decline, plus the fact that technology is growing faster than population, and increasing the carrying capacity of the world? So that, for example, more food is grown per acre. And that these trends continued for another 100 years will mean a lot more productivity per person than today?
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    Technology reduces the number of people needed and when robotics becomes perfected, you won't need to pay employees anymore. That means 10 billion people on welfare.
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    more food is grown per acre. And that these trends continued for another 100 years will mean a lot more productivity per person than today?
    I'd be a bit cautious about that one. More food per acre has only been possible with the use of oil-based fertilisers. As the oil supply steadily becomes more expensive and eventually exhausted - at least for large-scale uses as in agriculture, some will always be available at very high cost for very specialised applications - we're going to have to get our technological boots on and get going if we want to maintain current productivity. Let alone increase it for a larger population.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Would that world be interesting enough to live in? Do you think people would get bored out of their minds and start committing suicide?
    I really don't have an opinion on the other points but this... I don't think so. A utopian society won't necessarily lose "the spice of life", unless you consider crime to be your prime excitement factor. The only way it would be truly boring is if everyone must stick to the same boring everyday routine all the time. And in a utopian society, there's nothing stopping us from continuing to get out, travel, party, and do whatever's exciting. So how would you define a utopia?
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    I would wage war with the police and fight for freedom.
    No I would not like in such society. Society the goal is to just breed and breed to simply keep the human species surviving, it will kill our intelligence, and revert us back to the apes that now wonder in our jungles.

    It would have psycological implications on the utopian generatons, and over a long period of time lifes goal for survival and evolution will choose its path.
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    A TRUE Utopia would require my presence, to rule it with an iron fist. So it would be my pleasure and my duty to live there, and to propagate my superior sperm. WE MUST NOT ALLOW A MINE SHAFT GAP!
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I'd be a bit cautious about that one. More food per acre has only been possible with the use of oil-based fertilisers. As the oil supply steadily becomes more expensive and eventually exhausted - at least for large-scale uses as in agriculture, some will always be available at very high cost for very specialised applications - we're going to have to get our technological boots on and get going if we want to maintain current productivity. Let alone increase it for a larger population.
    That is only partly true. The bigger truth is that improved crop genetics improves yield per acre. The Green Revolution was driven mostly by improved genetics. Hybrids that were shorter than the parent generations, and converted more of their biomass into edible seeds.

    The future involves genetically modified crops, able to produce a lot more per acre from fewer inputs. For example : geneticists are working on crops that will fix their own nitrogen. Other crops able to grow in arid conditions. Yet others that are insect and disease resistant.

    There will always be a need for other technologies, such as irrigation, and delivery of nutrients. But we can do it even in an oil depleted future.
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    A Utopian society would have abundant energy from nuclear fission and fusion, as well as other advanced technologies. And tasty whale steaks!
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    In Pong's utopia people struggle and succeed, only to find another challenge they're destined to beat. Eternal progress requires an unending supply of problems to solve.

    The catch is that by "people" I mean the species not groups and individuals picking on each other as readily available problems. This requires a society that teaches children a distinction between human and environment. Treating your own species as environment would be judged inhuman (criminal or insane). Though the distinction was plain in olden days, humanity is amassing such extensions of itself, wrapping itself in an artificial world by-humans-for-humans, that I fear we will completely lose perspective of our place in the world. I believe this is why many utopias intuitively choose a primitive tribal setting.

    In Pong's dystopia humanity languishes or spirals under its own civilization, that civilization only gaining weight with each attempt to fix the problem.
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    However there are a few ways it could happen.

    1) - Good people.

    Some kind of extreme selection process leads to a population 100% composed of highly intelligent, non-criminal-minded, individuals. Basically, John Galt has his way and builds a society composed only of the best and the brightest - people who are capable of earning their way to success and thereby feel no need to steal it. The people Mr. Galt doesn't choose simply don't live in the Utopia.
    Personally,I`m kinda attracted by idea of society of good people.Unfortunatly, there is some problems.First of all, as I know, there is no scientifically proved and undoubtfull ways to make difference between good and bad people.What would you propose?Secondly I have some doubt that word highly intelligent is synonym of a word ``good person``.There were many highly intelligent criminals.Personally, have almost nothing against of people who are fooller than me.This is their own problem, mostly.But highly intelligent criminals is much bigger issue.Another problem is what to do with children of good people who will not be a good people?Should they go in exile?Or be eliminated?What whould you propose?
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    However there are a few ways it could happen.

    1) - Good people.

    Some kind of extreme selection process leads to a population 100% composed of highly intelligent, non-criminal-minded, individuals. Basically, John Galt has his way and builds a society composed only of the best and the brightest - people who are capable of earning their way to success and thereby feel no need to steal it. The people Mr. Galt doesn't choose simply don't live in the Utopia.
    Personally,I`m kinda attracted by idea of society of good people.Unfortunatly, there is some problems.First of all, as I know, there is no scientifically proved and undoubtfull ways to make difference between good and bad people.What would you propose?Secondly, I have some doubt that word highly intelligent is synonym of a word ``good person``.There were many highly intelligent criminals.Personally,I have almost nothing against of people who are fooller than me.This is their own problem, mostly.But highly intelligent criminals is much bigger issue.Another problem is what to do with children of good people who will not be a good people?Should they go in exile?Or be eliminated?What whould you propose?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Imagine a perfect world. There's no such thing as poverty in this world, but if you want to work extra hard you can be rich. No serious crimes are committed because the authorities are able to perfectly detect and prevent every attempt - all without invading anyone's privacy (somehow).

    Would that world be interesting enough to live in? Do you think people would get bored out of their minds and start committing suicide?
    No! I do not.

    Firstly we have to imagine that not everybodies idea of perfect world would be the same. But lets suppose we got people to buy into the ideas of the perfect world we were creating, it might be achievable to a point but since there is no such thing as perfection it wouldn't be totally achievable.

    But to get back on track, firstly lets get rid of this notion of creating a 'perfect world' as this would clearly not be possible, what we could do however is create what 'we' considered a near perfect country or society.

    We would have to start by getting a populous that truely appreciates the whole concept of what is being achieved by the country. This is going to be quite hard in initself, as most people have preconceptions that will be hard to get rid of without a lot of commitment and belief of a better life.

    I would say that just to acheive this would require having the majority of the population made up of people that come from back grounds of hardship, these people will be more tollerant of new ideas and find it easier to accept just how in which this new country can help them and make their lives better.

    The next phase would be getting professional, butting caring people to buy into your concept of a perfect country, these people are also important as they will help guide the rest in terms of lifestyle and will have the ability and skills to run and maintain everything.

    Next would require making people's lives easier, this could simply be achieved by taking financial responsibilites away from everybody, as poor people from harsh back grounds they will not be very proficant and looking after themselves financially then it will be the responsibility of the 'perfect country' to do this.

    This can be achieved by a total revolution in the way we veiw and use money, all public transport would be free, all food and drink would be free and infact everything apart from large luxury items would be free in the 'perfect country'. No one however would own their own property, it would all be state owned, this stops any one person or group from ever gaining a monopoly, it also allows people to move as when and if they want to.

    Next would be the countries rules and laws, they would have to be quite liberal with an extreme emphersis on personal freedoms, pretty much anything goes that doesn't upset others. Things like drugs would be perfectly legal, however it would be new safer alternatives that would be developed and doctors would give you advice on what would be safe to take and when. This would effectively destroy any illegal drugs trade, 1.) no market as people could get safe legal drugs for nothing and 2.) since money has been replaced no one would have any money to buy illegal drugs in the first place.

    The effect of this moneyless society would also eliminate muggings as no one would have any money to steal, and anything else they may have would be avaible to the mugger for free anyway from a shop.

    Since money doesn't exist, and most things are free, you may well ask on what basis does the society run? Well this would be personal advancement and betterment, everyone starts off with a colour rating and this changes and improves as they do beneficial things with their lives, the better colour rating the more status some one has in society. Even if you don't do anything with your life then your colour still improves with age, the young should respect their elders as one day they will be old, just to a lesser extent as those who contribute more to society.

    The state should be run for the benefit of the individual, and if someone commits a crime then the state has let them down, and all punishments should be about helping and rehabilitating the criminal. People should veiw criminals as members of society with problems that require help. In this regard prison should be absolute last resort only and provide a comfortable living standard for those members of society that the rest of scociety would need protecting from.

    There should be special departments set up that are equipped and capable of helping deal with any issue that a person has, always with a veiw to making sure that person is happy and healthy.

    Every person in society should be given the opportunities to find out what they are good at and what makes them happy and have this as their vocation.

    Whilst the 'perfect country' would have to be extremely rich in order to provide for everyone, it should have a strong emphasis towards helping the less fortunate around the world, maybe have a major international rescue agency that can help around the world whenever a crisis occurs.

    The 'perfect country' would be governed in the interests of the people by experts in each field that sit on councils and ultimatly governed by a grand council. Anybody having any ideas or problems could then submit them to the councils and go and make their point for the councils to consider.

    All council positions would be allocated on merit, not through some silly popularity contest that we call democracy and actually steals the peoples power once they've voted, yet everyone would retain the power to bring any issue before the relevant council at anytime. This means that anybody can get involved with running of the country just by being interested and the interests of the country are always protected by experts in their fields who are not motivated by winning popularity contests.

    All citizens are always put before the state, this means that if the country has to go war over the fate of one person so be it, it means that everyone will always feel safe and know that they will always have an entire country on their side no matter what.

    The ulimate responsibility lies with the state, that you are happy, well educated, healthy and are safe and free.

    This would be a near 'perfect country' in my opinion.
    Last edited by Ascended; May 2nd, 2012 at 09:51 AM.
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    Interesting Chrisgorlitz, the suggestions are similar to what the Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project advocate, which I find interesting overall. Some aspects I would like to mixed in a Better society is something like a decentralized network of communities(so that local communities have more say in how they are run/priorities/code of conduct/law), transparency in all things public (and free access to information, education), dilution of hierarchies(including the use of democratic-mechanisms, participatory democracy, and open organisations and projects), a participation information system(to provide information about needs, projects, schedules).

    Im a bit cautious with the let the experts decide vibe personally, while I think experts should play a primary role in advising and implementing decisions, I think many issues though they contain technical elements are not entirely technical in nature(political, preferences, cultural/lifestyle), and unless we are dealing with chalatan expertise(Fen Shui, Astrology, etc) or expertise in a domain where there is subjective and cultural factors(interior decoration) are important, the rest of the expertise is in effect information based, so a council should in effect openly "process" utterly transparent and accessible information(technical, scientific, education) and public data(survey, samples, statistics, etc). I would not like closed groups of self-proclaimed experts to make subjective decisions that are related to their field of expertise without transparency, accountability, or ethics. I've probably lost half the readers, but has one of the many examples you could have an interior designer say "as an expert in interior design from Paris, I choose to have the town hall painted pink with yellow dots, I dont care about the "opinion" of non experts in the field, nor about the mob rule democracy of the people that will actually live here and see that town hall on a daily basis, let the experts decide" or
    "-Are you an expert in Syphilis? Hrr no... -Well how do you know not treating Black patients to study the deadly effects of Syphilis on unwilling test subjects is not the best way to proceed, your not an expert, it is best for the expert to decide" (these are outrageous, but its to give an idea)

    I think that some direct democratic mechanisms and random selection of citizen volunteers can have a use in balancing a better society. (that is of course in a society where education material is free and accessible to everyone, and where there is a balanced minimum education that is mandatory so that you have a relatively knowledgeable population familiar with science and processes. In a faith-based superstitious medieval society where people want to burn witches its not as good an idea.)

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    I think a perfect soceity is about freedom, and in many soceities they talk constantly about freedom and yet everything is designed to take freedom away from people. The biggest problem with western society is economic inequality and this blights the lives of millions. How people living in a society that has millions living in poverty can truely believe that these people have freedom I don't know.

    There are basic things every human being needs to live a happy life and any developed society should ensure these are provided for everybody.

    Right to education.
    Right to Health Care.
    Right to Some where to live.
    Right to love and marry person of their choice, regardless of age, religion, sex, race or any other form of discrimination.
    Right to travel.
    Right to freedom of opinion and expression.
    Right to work in a field suited to their abilites, regardless of race, religion or back ground.
    Right to choose religion, however I feel this should be restricted to those who have reached the age of majority, to reduce early age indoctrination.
    Right to a say and voice in how their country or society is run, the 'ability to vote' doesn't cut it for me, it should be an on going process where people's voices are listened to and their thoughts and ideas properly and evaluated and where appropriate implimented.

    In a truely free society non of these rights should ever be subjected to or in any way influenced by a persons financial circumstances.

    I feel that all these rights should be given in a just and free society. They are all achieveable and will help to enable people to have happier lives.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    My hypothesis is that when the population increases relative to the carrying capacity of the resources in an area to the point of exceeding it, that at that point something has to give.
    How does this tie in with the facts that world population growth is slowing and will probably stop at around 10 billion, then decline, plus the fact that technology is growing faster than population, and increasing the carrying capacity of the world? So that, for example, more food is grown per acre. And that these trends continued for another 100 years will mean a lot more productivity per person than today?
    Technology improves, sure. But each advance requires more infrastructure than the last, and if experience is any guide, it also brings a new crucial resource every time, some new thing we need to mine, and won't have enough of for everybody.

    Realistically, there is no way the 7 billion people living now could ever live the affluent lifestyle of an American, Australian, or Western European. There is not enough oil, and probably not enough uranium, or platinum, or a whole bunch of other materials that are tightly distributed in our economy because they drive the machines we depend on.

    Think about hydrophonics. It's a great idea. Who has the time, energy, and resources to build it? And by "energy" I don't mean not being tired. I mean electric power in sufficient abundance to spare to do it all? Heck, we can't even get basic fertilizers delivered to the places in Africa that need it. Then there's that problem of fresh water. Sure we can build processing plants (operative word being "build"), but once we do that all we've done is trade one resource crunch for another, because now those plants need electric power that's getting ever more scarce. It all looks solvable if you break it into pieces... but only so long as each piece is allowed to ignore the existence of the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    However there are a few ways it could happen.

    1) - Good people.

    Some kind of extreme selection process leads to a population 100% composed of highly intelligent, non-criminal-minded, individuals. Basically, John Galt has his way and builds a society composed only of the best and the brightest - people who are capable of earning their way to success and thereby feel no need to steal it. The people Mr. Galt doesn't choose simply don't live in the Utopia.
    Personally,I`m kinda attracted by idea of society of good people.Unfortunatly, there is some problems.First of all, as I know, there is no scientifically proved and undoubtfull ways to make difference between good and bad people.What would you propose?Secondly I have some doubt that word highly intelligent is synonym of a word ``good person``.There were many highly intelligent criminals.Personally, have almost nothing against of people who are fooller than me.This is their own problem, mostly.But highly intelligent criminals is much bigger issue.Another problem is what to do with children of good people who will not be a good people?Should they go in exile?Or be eliminated?What whould you propose?
    Mostly I'd recommend not selecting on the basis of IQ, but behavior. If a person commits a violent criminal act, they could be sterilized. The instinct to act out in that manner would gradually breed out of the species over time.

    I honestly believe that most of the problem of human violence is due to instincts left over from the hunter gatherer stage. Deep down people still feel a primal urge to go out and hunt wooly mammoths. They can't find a mammoth, so they just look for something big and difficult to fight (like the law), and hopefully with the prospect of windfall profits (like a fresh killed mammoth would have been in the time of Cromagnon hunters.) It's a lifestyle that is still intensely satisfying for some people, and our ancestors' instincts would have made it satisfying for them. Civilization simply happened too fast in evolutionary time, so our instincts couldn't catch up fast enough to make us similarly enjoy farming and working hard (though some people appear to have that gene.)

    Simple answer: breed the gene out. It no longer serves any useful purpose. The conditions under which it would be valuable are unlikely to ever return.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post

    Realistically, there is no way the 7 billion people living now could ever live the affluent lifestyle of an American, Australian, or Western European.

    I think to be fair, given the worlds resources it would be possible for 7 billion people to live happy and free lives, I don't think that they would all necessarilly need lots of material possesions for this to be acheived and things could be shared.

    We think of things as belongings, that belongs to me, that belongs to you, but really how many people could share and use those same belongings?
    The answer is obvious we need to change the way we live and veiw things, the idea of capitalism and ever expanding growth is now dying a slow death. It is time that we finds new ways to solve our problems and that we treat other people from other countries in a way that allows them to have a good standard of living.

    I think if we don't make these changes ourselves then the world will just move on regardless and these changes will be imposed on us, I don't think that most of the world is willing to continue living in poverty just so that we in the west can carry on living our wasteful lifestyles at their expense.
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    "Realistically, there is no way the 7 billion people living now could ever live the affluent lifestyle of an American, Australian, or Western European."
    I think many people underestimate the gigantic waste that our current economic system generates, by that I dont mean people ought to cut down on their comfort/lifestyle, I mean that our society is almost made to favor needless waste and needless consumption. If I want to work, Im looking for the end result, Im not getting any additional lifestyle advantage by spending over an hour in beyond sight parking lot traffic in my gas guzzling car to get from where everyone sleeps to where everyone works, collectivley spending millions of hours a year so we can each haul 2 tons of metal back and forth each day by using gas and clucky-clank internal cumbustion engines with wearing gears and filters. This urban retardation design is due to the various retarded individualistic monetary incentives that combine to make the most retarded urban design any extraterrestial Tim Burton could imagine, imo the only reason we are not struck blind by how incredibly stupid it is, is that we were born in it and everyone thinks its normal.


    One of the problems is that its so beleived to be normal, that people associate the comfort/lifestyle with the gargantuan waste that is falsly beleived to provide it, which impedes our ability to imagine a lifestyle that is equally comfortable(or more) but designed for function(instead of aggregated conflicts of interests). If you had Epcot center like city nodes connected by monorail(designed for efficiency and convenience), and an alternate economic system, you could have better quality of life in most respects with far far less wasted resources.


    We can still have a 1950's theme city, (Like a Hamish theme region, a Lord of the Rings theme region, etc) in which people go to the A&W restaurant to eat in their cars, go to the movies in their cars(drive-in), have sex in their cars(role playing that is a big taboo and that they have to sneak out), with a bridge attraction where visitors are cued to all take at the same time so they can drive 1 km in half an hour to reexperience the thrill of good old rush hour(while they look at each other and giggle at how crazy it is), etc.
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    As I said before, we are already en route to a "perfect" society.
    Actually, perfection is impossible for the simple reason that every human is different, and will want something different. so it is not possible to make a 'perfect' society for everyone.

    However, we can develop a much improved society, and we are well on the way to doing that. Compared to any time in human history or prehistory, this is a Golden Age. We have wealth beyond the dreams of our ancestors. Everyone is so well fed that obesity is now a problem. We have toys of a nature unimaginable to people just two generations back. We have amazing medical care. We live much, much longer than at any time in history or pre-history. Violence is a tiny fraction of what it used to be. Slavery is gone. Women are largely treated as equals. Education is getting close to universal. We have anti-discrimination laws. Human rights are near universal. etc. etc.

    Of course, it is still not perfect. This is especially true for many third world nations. But the point is that the whole world is moving towards that goal. The recent Arab Spring is an example. Dictators overthrown, and a chance for the people to establish a new order without evil bastards running things.

    In the future, we will have a society dominated by robots. Robots of all shapes, sizes and functions. Robots to release humans from the drudgery that has occupied the lives of most people through most of history. Both physical and mental drudgery. Robots of sufficient sophistication and in sufficient numbers will permit things to be done that are specific enough to be accomplished without harm to the natural environment. For example : exploring for minerals, done by small boring robots with tiny lasers and spectroscopes, to analyse rocks as they go. A million such robots might simultaneously explore any one portion of the Earth's crust. (This kind of robot is already under development, according to an article in New Scientist.)

    End result is a world of vastly greater leisure for anyone who wants it. Along with even better medical care, we can assume superior health and long life to enjoy this leisure.

    We do not need experts telling us how to build a perfect society. It is already on the way. It will fall short of perfection, of course, due to human variability. But we will attain something that is as close to that perfection as human imperfection will permit.

    There are still problems to be overcome, and I doubt there will ever be a problem-free society. Perfection is a goal, to be striven for, not achieved.
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    What brings the joy of first light, but the darkest of nights. Why is satiation best felt if the stomach is empty first. Who can measure the warmth without the touch of cold. The darkest evil must have its opposite in good. Lows and highs are a rollercoaster ride and that is the essence of life. It is the sine wave of breathing, the blood sugar peaking and bottoming out, the tides. Why would anyone want to make life a flat line.

    Utopia would be hell.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    As I said before, we are already en route to a "perfect" society.
    I would strongly disagree with this assertion, I feel that many societies are headed in the wrong direction, they are becoming more authoritarian and inequality is rife. Just for example look at what has happened in the US over the last decade. Millions without health care, people made homeless, people living as second class citizens because they have no legal status, powers of arrest and detention for almost anything, legalised torture and 3 million plus prison population.

    Is that really the path towards a perfect country?

    No what is needed is complete U turn, people need to be free from threats to liberty and have available the things they need for happy lives.
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    Chris

    The problems you focus on are real, but minor compared to the equivalent 100 years ago. Poverty today means you cannot buy a second colour TV. Not that you are likely to die of malnutrition.
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    Just for example look at what has happened in the US over the last decade. Millions without health care, people made homeless, people living as second class citizens because they have no legal status, powers of arrest and detention for almost anything, legalised torture and 3 million plus prison population.
    Economic downturns always create misery for the poor. By comparison to past severe downturns this one was relatively mild--how many had health care during the great depression? Most of our nations history no one had health insurance, large parts of the poor lived under bridges and torture was almost routine. Of those issues our huge prison population is the only really new problem--and for that I'd agree it's a national disgrace; unfortunately one that won't change until we embrace training instead of punishment for non-violent crimes (the majority of our prison populations).
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    Prison Population in the USA. 3 MILLION? Brings two thoughts to mind. First, cost. Can costs be justified by the (a). The need to provide employment jobs to run the Penal System. (b). The need for Goods and Services, and the employment required to faciliate this. If these positions were not available the Unemployment rate would be much higher. Still, I have to agree with Lynx Fox that the Penal Code hurts Society by not being able to rehabillitate minor criminals. Deterrants are fine to prevent Crime in the first place, but for many reasons that are peculier to a certain educational level within our Community, deterrants are discounted when a felony is planned and executed. Crimes of Passion are normally spontanious, crimes of the moment, committed by stressed out people or people with a predisposition for violence to get their own way. Or to solve what appears at the moment to be a problem that otherwise there is no solution to. We all have genetic wiring of ancestoral genes, and depending on our favourable or unfavourable circumstances in life these traits surface, good or bad. westwind.
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    The average cost of keeping someone in prison is $ 100,000 per year. So the total is $ 300 billion per year.

    Is it worth that? Maybe.
    The thing is, that each of those arseholes who are locked up could well be committing mayhem if released. A burglar in prison may cost $ 100,000 per year, but released may cost society $ 1 million per year. Some would commit murders, and a human death has to be worth a lot of money, if reported in those terms.

    Does anyone have figures on estimates of how much criminals cost society when freed?
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    The thing is, that each of those arseholes who are locked up could well be committing mayhem if released.
    The several hundred thousand in prison for smoking and possession of pot would do little worse than find more weed, watch more TV, laugh with their friends and buy more snack foods. The ones who do worse, are likely the same ones hardened by the system now labled by an irrational nation so they can't get a good job for the rest of their lives--things which turn people to more crime than the weed offense that condemned them.
    --
    But this is a serious side road. My main point is American's above the few percent mark in income are better off even during the worse of this recent recession than their parents were and Much better off than their grand and great-grandparents--eating relatively cheaper and more available food, housed in more personal space, far less subject to descrimatory oppression, wider choices of entertainment, and better access to emergency health care. The perpetual lie, I disagree with is the "good old days." They are mostly a myth that never was.
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    Do you know that so many in prison are there for pot smoking?
    What of the rest?
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    LF

    Do you know that so many in prison are there for pot smoking?
    What of the rest?
    I agree that there are many people in prison that the rest of us need protecting from, but I would argue that if we started to run society correctly that most of these people would pose a threat or even a problem. How many kids grew up in poor neighbourhoods where the only people they ever saw with money were drug deals or gang members?

    How many people brought up in poverty end up in prison? There is a direct correlation between criminality and poverty.
    Also I would say we have to look at a culture of consumerism and financial inequality. How are people excted to be happy, even they have some where to live and enough food, if they are constantly bombarded by the media telling they need all these material possetions to be happy. When they constantly see people on television that have nice schools to go to, have nice cars to drive and luxury houses to live in.

    Many poor may actually be better off than other poorer people around the world, but than can and do feel much poorer because of the vast divide between the rich and poor.

    If society was more equal then many of the social problems that currently exist could be eliminated.

    Also attitudes have been manipulated so that instead of feeling sympathy and compassion for the less fortunate many people just don't care or believe that they are superior and it's their own fault.

    Also I would accept that during the great depression that conditions were much more harsh, but that can never be an excuse for the allowing the situation we have now. Whilst there are still many countries in the world that we would consider have bad human rights records there are many more countries where peoples freedoms and lifestyles are increasing and improving. What we need to do is provide a shining beacon of light an example for all the countries of the world to follow, now wether that is to be America or Europe doesn't matter, what does matter is that we move in the right direction and that is more freedom and liberty more equality and greater effort to ensure that every citizen has a happy and productive life.

    For each and every person that turns to crime, ends up in prison or languishes in poverty has been let down by their government and shames us all.
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  57. #56  
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "Realistically, there is no way the 7 billion people living now could ever live the affluent lifestyle of an American, Australian, or Western European."
    I think many people underestimate the gigantic waste that our current economic system generates, by that I dont mean people ought to cut down on their comfort/lifestyle, I mean that our society is almost made to favor needless waste and needless consumption. If I want to work, Im looking for the end result, Im not getting any additional lifestyle advantage by spending over an hour in beyond sight parking lot traffic in my gas guzzling car to get from where everyone sleeps to where everyone works, collectivley spending millions of hours a year so we can each haul 2 tons of metal back and forth each day by using gas and clucky-clank internal cumbustion engines with wearing gears and filters. This urban retardation design is due to the various retarded individualistic monetary incentives that combine to make the most retarded urban design any extraterrestial Tim Burton could imagine, imo the only reason we are not struck blind by how incredibly stupid it is, is that we were born in it and everyone thinks its normal.
    The reason we're not struck blind by the stupidity of it all is because for the most part we can't think of a better way to do it. The system you seem to describe would require quite a lot of synchronizing of watches, and people choosing to work at specific jobs that are physically located exactly the right distance from their homes.

    People seem to underestimate how much waste is necessary. If you want to ride the bus instead of drive, you're going to have to wait for it to make a lot of stops, probably doubling your commute. Trains are a little better that way, since they don't have to fight traffic. Beyond those options, I don't see much of another way to move people where they need to go.

    In a sense, humanity is a thermal dynamic system with lots of entropy. Recovering the energy of that system as useful work inevitably requires a lot of the energy to be wasted, if only as entertainment. If we did away with all the chaos and disorder, what we had left when we were done wouldn't be human anymore anyway, and so we would still have failed at our objective.


    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    In the future, we will have a society dominated by robots. Robots of all shapes, sizes and functions. Robots to release humans from the drudgery that has occupied the lives of most people through most of history. Both physical and mental drudgery. Robots of sufficient sophistication and in sufficient numbers will permit things to be done that are specific enough to be accomplished without harm to the natural environment. For example : exploring for minerals, done by small boring robots with tiny lasers and spectroscopes, to analyse rocks as they go. A million such robots might simultaneously explore any one portion of the Earth's crust. (This kind of robot is already under development, according to an article in New Scientist.)
    How many of those robots do you think we are going to be able to build? 5 for every person, so 35 billion? At what point do you think we'll run out of resources to build them from? Or fuel to fuel them?

    Most of the crucial tech already exists. The control computer wouldn't be much of a problem with all the micro-sized i-pads we're already making. We could power them off of methanol fuel cells (since the exhaust is non-toxic).... except those require platinum metals. Probably couldn't get enough platinum for 35 billion fuel cells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwind View Post
    Crimes of Passion are normally spontanious, crimes of the moment, committed by stressed out people or people with a predisposition for violence to get their own way.
    Different people would have different tolerances. Also some peoples' mode of break-down when under too much stress is different. Some people simply cave in, instead of attacking others. The ones who cave in are at least harmless.


    Or to solve what appears at the moment to be a problem that otherwise there is no solution to. We all have genetic wiring of ancestoral genes, and depending on our favourable or unfavourable circumstances in life these traits surface, good or bad. westwind.
    Clearly some have more than others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post
    I agree that there are many people in prison that the rest of us need protecting from,
    About half of them.
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    "If you want to ride the bus instead of drive, you're going to have to wait for it to make a lot of stops, probably doubling your commute. Trains are a little better that way, since they don't have to fight traffic. Beyond those options, I don't see much of another way to move people where they need to go."
    Ok, I see your point, you imagine keeping the present urban logistical system (instead of re designing it from the ground up) (as well most likely as the current economic model) and trying to put something else like buses on top of it, and finding the result lacking,
    a bit like gran'-pa in a western might say ~theres nothing better than a horse carriage I tells you, you cant have a plane, because if you put wings and a jet engine on a horse carriage(our current system), the horses will be draged and the horse-carriage plane's nose will tip down and ram the ground. So your plane idea isnt any good.~.


    I think the original Epcot center was designed to have no need for cars within the perimiter of an urban node, with monorails passing over pedestrians (without stopping for cars, without hitting people etc. theres no car traffic, no thousands of square feet allocated to travel by car or have a personal car sitting by all day).


    Its true that ideally it would have to be in some new cities, while old cities are still being used, the same way you still use horse carriage while something else is being made.


    But were not doing that, were doing the exact opposite, with developements that spend tons of money and ressources on a gigantic shopping mall for cars in which clients drive around. Its "almost" like a surreal 10 km2 McDonalds where people drive and park to give their order, then drive and park to take it, then drive 600m to a table with their own parking spot next to it, and then they drive half a km to go to the "toilets parking" where they park and go to the bathroom, and then drive back to their table, and when they're finished eating drive to the grabage bin's parking lot to throw their garbage in the bins, and then wait in line in the traffic jam to exit the Mc Donalds.
    THen you say, but why not design the McDonalds from the ground up for poeple not to need cars within the restaurant, and people unable to imagine a different system to that which they cant see otherwise saying "yeah but walking all the way to the bathroom will be just too long." And "but walking from your table to the toilet means you'll have to stop all the time to let cars pass by from the counter to their tables" etc


    Some, when they catch that a totally different system could be setup, then hit the 'current economic system' wall of the mental box were in...
    "Ok but, if each person no longer needs a car of his own, what about all the 'jobs' that will be lost? What about the people who haul oil in oil driven internal combustion engine trucks to distribute tons of oil to many gas stations? And what about the gas station attendants? And the people repairing the roads? The people who make tires? the mechanics who change the oil and the clunkity-clunk combustion engine parts? The people who make the millions of filters, and spare parts, brake pads? What about the new car salesmen and used car salesmen? And the people who make the cars? And parking attendants for fleets of cars staying inertly parked most of the time? Where are all these people going to find 'jobs'? Its bad for the economy. And what are car thieves suppose to do? Theyre out of a job too, and the car alarm systems guys, police investigators, judges, lawers, prison guards might have a little less work, thats also bad for the economy. And insurance salesmen wont have car insurances to sell, and what about tow truck drivers? There wont even be hundreds of bodies in crashes to recover, and the physiotherapist that teach people who to walk again after a car accident? Its a really bad idea in our economic system."

    "But wait, theres more, what about all the city employees driving around all day to give parking tickets? And the license bureau employees. And the police that give road infraction tickets and speeding tickets? And the layers specializing in contesting tickets in front of judges? And the millions spend on photo radar systems, and the people that process the mailing of these tickets? And on monorails you dont need as many bus drivers any more than you need an 1920's elevator operator, and... and.."
    Last edited by icewendigo; May 3rd, 2012 at 03:16 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    How many of those robots do you think we are going to be able to build? 5 for every person, so 35 billion? At what point do you think we'll run out of resources to build them from? Or fuel to fuel them?
    You clearly have an incorrect view of robots. Probably think they will be big clanking mockeries of humanity.

    No. Most robots will be tiny, and look nothing like humans. They will be specialised for their own task. I mentioned the earthworm shaped robot for tunnelling underground and sampling rocks looking for resources. Currently under design. Such robots will be made in their millions.

    Other robots will be positioned on long arms over conveyer belts carrying garbage, and using their senses to sort the garbage into re-usable piles. Others will be small enough to move around between crop plants, killing insect pests and weeds, while analysing soil for moisture, and minerals to ensure what is added is optimal.

    When the technology is mature, robots will be made in vast numbers. Because most will be tiny, the resources expended will not be great.
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    Dear skeptic. I would be interested in having a tiny Robot that lets out a shrill whistle whenever my relations appear on my driveway. Gives me time to hide my Jack Daniels and my wallet. westwind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Other robots will be positioned on long arms over conveyer belts carrying garbage, and using their senses to sort the garbage into re-usable piles. Others will be small enough to move around between crop plants, killing insect pests and weeds, while analysing soil for moisture, and minerals to ensure what is added is optimal.
    So, you think this will actually get there? What is the importance of this? Genetically engineered virae can do the same, for a fraction of the cost.

    Robots will not be used for things like this. I see a little more use for robots on earth, like in combat, or working on hazardous locations, like a nuclear powerplant, in a mine, 2 miles under water, etc. On the streets, you will see robots carrying luggage, and maybe even as a "taxi driver" as people will want to see someone(something) driving, instead of a car that simply drives by himself. But not more robots then those. For the rest. I'll see cars that barely touch the ground while going top speed, while going over the ground at slower speeds (more efficiency at higher speeds).

    An utopian society will be possible, in fantasy. Every person has a different idea of the best way, and this varies over time. As the true utopia will be in the human mind itself. Will it ever be a true place, where your selected of you fit in? No, as people with the same mindset collide most times. Put a magnet with the same pole towards eachother, and you will feel friction.

    The true utopian society would be mostly the same as this one. But without cruelty, hunger, poverty, war, injustice and crime. As we have created this world, slowly, at our own vision of perfection, with the limited means we have.

    Make our means infinite, and we will create our own utopia.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    You can be as skeptical as you like about robots. People were equally skeptical some decades back about small and cheap computers. I read a very serious article back in the 1970's about computers that would be the size of skyscrapers and cost billions. Then we got the personal desk top.

    In tomorrow's world, the mini robot will be the reality. It will be cheap, sophisticated, and use up minimal resources. Much like today's computers. With computers, we have got to the stage where we insert a computer chip in a bloody toaster, with more power than the computers that took Apollo to the moon. Ignore human progress at your peril.

    Robots are under development right now. an example of an everyday robot is one that can drive your car home when you are too drunk to cope. eg. Volkswagon have a car in prototype that is well on the way to doing this already.
    Self driving VW - YouTube

    Give us a couple more decades and robots will be a major force in everyday life. Give it another 3 decades, and you will wonder how we ever did without them.
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    I know it will be possible. I just don't think it will be economically viable. And to some problems, a robot just is not the best solution. Even self replicating nanobots (microbots, size of the tip of the head of a pinn) are already under concideration. Organic robots as well, and maybe even artificial intelligence someday. But, this world will not change as much due to them as you believe. Commercial robots will not go far beyond seeing eye robots, or cleaning robots. As beyond these robots, the solving of the cause which gives the problem, will be more economical then dealing with the concequences, with these robots.

    For example. For the seeing eye robot. A blind person now has a dog, to the near future, this will be a robot, any further in the future, this will become a cure to the blindness in the first place. Like a bionic eye, an artificial biological eye, or even further then that, regrowth stimulation of an eye. No more robots for the blind.

    Another example. Your robot to kill bugs, and kill off weeds, would not be viable. First it would be a larger robot to simply plow between the designated area's. Then it would be a super selective pesticide (like a virus), then a laser fence, where weeds and bugs could simply not pass. Then you could make the plants you have, stronger then the weeds by genetic engineering, or make the plants themselves excrete substances that kill weeds and bugs.

    Further on, the need for robots decline. Name 1 example of a continuing need for robots, to a point where our imagination limits us.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    This might be relevant: Does the definition of a utopia include the means by which it was established?
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    The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas
    Imo thats a Dystopia , like many dystopias in which a portion is living the high life and others dismal condition(Metropolis, etc), the main difference is that in Omelas the proportion is pushed to a limit (and it doesnt make a lot of sense, which is both a weakness and a strength as a drama attribute).

    I dont know about the means by which it was established(initially, in the past), but Im certain the means by which it is sustained must be considered(otherwise it can be a Dystopia).
    Last edited by icewendigo; May 4th, 2012 at 11:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    "If you want to ride the bus instead of drive, you're going to have to wait for it to make a lot of stops, probably doubling your commute. Trains are a little better that way, since they don't have to fight traffic. Beyond those options, I don't see much of another way to move people where they need to go."
    Ok, I see your point, you imagine keeping the present urban logistical system (instead of re designing it from the ground up) (as well most likely as the current economic model) and trying to put something else like buses on top of it, and finding the result lacking,
    a bit like gran'-pa in a western might say ~theres nothing better than a horse carriage I tells you, you cant have a plane, because if you put wings and a jet engine on a horse carriage(our current system), the horses will be draged and the horse-carriage plane's nose will tip down and ram the ground. So your plane idea isnt any good.~.


    I think the original Epcot center was designed to have no need for cars within the perimiter of an urban node, with monorails passing over pedestrians (without stopping for cars, without hitting people etc. theres no car traffic, no thousands of square feet allocated to travel by car or have a personal car sitting by all day).
    Actually I'm starting to see your point. Just looking at New York. You have to be nigh insane to want to drive your own car in that city. A taxi is more expensive, but you won't need to park. Subways are conveniently positioned underground and go nearly everywhere you want to go.

    Getting a smaller city like Portland, OR (near where I live, considered one of the smallest cities that can be considered "big") to build underground subways would be very difficult, though. It's a huge infrastructure investment. For a continually expanding population, the infrastructure requirements will grow bigger and bigger every generation. For a stable but large population, I guess infrastructure will eventually catch up. For energy, transitioning to wind and solar is just an infrastructure problem too. Give it enough time and everything we need will eventually get made.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Zwolver

    You can be as skeptical as you like about robots. People were equally skeptical some decades back about small and cheap computers. I read a very serious article back in the 1970's about computers that would be the size of skyscrapers and cost billions. Then we got the personal desk top.
    It has happened in the first world. I don't know about the third world. I'm certainly not contending that all of us wealthy first worlders won't be able to afford these robots.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo View Post
    Interesting Chrisgorlitz, the suggestions are similar to what the Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project advocate, which I find interesting overall. Some aspects I would like to mixed in a Better society is something like a decentralized network of communities(so that local communities have more say in how they are run/priorities/code of conduct/law), transparency in all things public (and free access to information, education), dilution of hierarchies(including the use of democratic-mechanisms, participatory democracy, and open organisations and projects), a participation information system(to provide information about needs, projects, schedules).

    I think most of what you a refering to has a lot of merit, it really seems to be all about empowerment with people and communities saying this is what we want and this is the way we want to run things. It's also seems to be about leveling the playing field and ensuring that 'some people are not more equal than others'.

    I think the whole idea of putting a social conscience back into capitalist society is the right way forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Name 1 example of a continuing need for robots, to a point where our imagination limits us.
    We will not know of it till it happens.
    However, one guess would be virus killer microbots. This is just an idea right now (Not my idea. some megabrains are already trying to figure how to do it.). The suggestion is that tiny robots could be invented that would track and kill viruses. They would be injected into the human body and keep it clear of all viruses. We are unlikely to be free of virus illness totally by any other means, since the little beggars are so numerous, so variable, and so damned tricky in evading both the immune system and any drugs we can find.

    I totally disagree with you on your suggestion that a small agricultural robot would not be viable. Big machines do enormous damage to soils. What is needed is something small and subtle, that can disturb soil as little as possible, while still analysing, killing weeds and harmful insects. Nothing short of numerous tiny and sophisticated robots are likely to do it. Pesticides are either too much associated with harmful side effects, or too ineffective. Your idea of a super-selective one will not work simply because there are too many species of invasive weeds, attacking insects etc.

    As for the rest, well I suspect that the reality will be way beyond our limited imagination. There are already scientists who predict artificial minds that will push science far ahead, by setting up and running experiments, interpreting results, formulating hypotheses, designing experiments to test those hypotheses and running the experiments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    However, one guess would be virus killer microbots. This is just an idea right now (Not my idea. some megabrains are already trying to figure how to do it.). The suggestion is that tiny robots could be invented that would track and kill viruses. They would be injected into the human body and keep it clear of all viruses. We are unlikely to be free of virus illness totally by any other means, since the little beggars are so numerous, so variable, and so damned tricky in evading both the immune system and any drugs we can find.
    Wouldn't a genetic enhancement that makes our cell membranes impervious to virusses be a better solution. Problem solved, and no robots involved.

    To the other thing, agricultural robots, to be small and subtle. Well far enough into the future the plants themselves will not need any care. No seeding, plowing, removing weeds, insects, or whatever. Harvesting would be useless as well, because everybody will have a small garden with these super efficient vegetables, that grow from sprout to full and harvestable in under a month. Saves on harvesting, transportation, storage, etc.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Said genetic enhancement does not appear to be theoretically possible. As I pointed out, viruses are tricky beasties. They have evolved a wide range of techniques, and they adapt quickly to change. I doubt that any change to human cell membranes that was small enough not to kill us, would keep viruses out for long. A simple change to an enzyme would probably suffice.

    in agriculture, certainly there will be new crops capable of much that current crops do not. But there are things no genetic enhancement can achieve. Like pulling out weeds. Like optimising soil moisture content. Like removing aphids. etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    I doubt that any change to human cell membranes that was small enough not to kill us, would keep viruses out for long. A simple change to an enzyme would probably suffice.
    That's the point with virusses, they can not mutate if they can't reproduce. And to reproduce they would need to enter a cell. Even a 10% slower rate of infection, would help the immune system with 10% more time. My guess is about 50% less deaths due to most virusses.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    I totally disagree with you on your suggestion that a small agricultural robot would not be viable. Big machines do enormous damage to soils. What is needed is something small and subtle, that can disturb soil as little as possible, while still analysing, killing weeds and harmful insects. Nothing short of numerous tiny and sophisticated robots are likely to do it. Pesticides are either too much associated with harmful side effects, or too ineffective. Your idea of a super-selective one will not work simply because there are too many species of invasive weeds, attacking insects etc.
    The trouble with small machines is when they break down, it's going to be quite a hassle to go out and retrieve them so they can be repaired or thrown away. Or maybe just make sure there's some magnetic-responsive metals in them? Then you could just periodically comb over the field with a big magnet to collect all the damaged bots.

    If they're small, it won't be worth the trouble to try and fix them. Just make more, and hopefully design them so the old ones can be efficiently recycled for scrap.
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    if that is a problem, just program the other small robots to retrieve the defective one and drop it into the recycle bin.

    The whole point of the myriad tiny robots is that each is ultra cheap. Like building micro-chips today. A few cents only for each one.
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    True, but i still see a fiberglass soil farm to be a lot easier. Robots are not the best solution to everything skeptic, haha. Still good as a concideration though.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Whilst the 'perfect country' would have to be extremely rich in order to provide for everyone, it should have a strong emphasis towards helping the less fortunate around the world, maybe have a major international rescue agency that can help around the world whenever a crisis occurs.
    I think that foremost help that most of poor countries really need is just reduction of fertility rates.I do not know, but situation when nations which barely have one children per family in average are called to provide humanitarian help to nations which have 5-6-7 chilren per family is pure absurdity to me.Not in sense of a help itself but just in sense of a sequences.Reduce fertility in poor countries to 1 child per family and you will see how many of their problems will instantly disappear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    Whilst the 'perfect country' would have to be extremely rich in order to provide for everyone, it should have a strong emphasis towards helping the less fortunate around the world, maybe have a major international rescue agency that can help around the world whenever a crisis occurs.
    I think that foremost help that most of poor countries really need is just reduction of fertility rates.I do not know, but situation when nations which barely have one children per family in average are called to provide humanitarian help to nations which have 5-6-7 chilren per family is pure absurdity to me.Not in sense of a help itself but just in sense of a sequences.Reduce fertility in poor countries to 1 child per family and you will see how many of their problems will instantly disappear.

    One the reasons why families have lots of children in poor countries is the high infant mortality rates, if families were to only have one child, we could rapidly being a depopulation crisis as babies and children die on mass before ever reaching adulthood. Parents would no longer have any one around to look after them in old age, many of the developments we have in the west would simply not be possible because their wouldn't be enough people left to get anything done.

    What is really needed is improvements in their living conditions that would see infant life expectancy raised, parents wouldn't need so many children. Also with better education and less hardship would come the oportunity for these people to be able to do productive things with their lives instead of just struggling to survive. This would also allow the people to start planning things out and deciding how they themselves can continue to improve things.
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    That is no longer true.

    Even in third world nations, child mortality is way down on what it once was. Average fertility globally is now 2.5 children per woman, and that is still enough to cause a slow increase in population. Very slow, but definitely an increase, because so few children die these days. Amazing the impact of vaccines and antibiotics.

    However, when people have little money, and no access to contraceptives, then they end up with more children than they really want. The answer is obvious.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Chris

    That is no longer true.

    Even in third world nations, child mortality is way down on what it once was. Average fertility globally is now 2.5 children per woman, and that is still enough to cause a slow increase in population. Very slow, but definitely an increase, because so few children die these days. Amazing the impact of vaccines and antibiotics.

    However, when people have little money, and no access to contraceptives, then they end up with more children than they really want. The answer is obvious.
    I agree with what you are saying, but the point as was trying to make is that's why the population growth started in these countries to stop depopulation. I also still think that by western standards many of these countries are actually still under populated. If they had larger centralised city dwelling populations then they could improve living standards and education etc....
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    However, when people have little money, and no access to contraceptives, then they end up with more children than they really want. The answer is obvious.
    And leaders of their superstition who tell them they'll suffer for eternity if they use birth control or don't put out at their husband's whim--often codified into the laws of the nation.
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    That is not so common.
    Also compliance with any such idiotic rules is even less common. Look at the most Catholic country on Earth - Italy. Clear cut order from their religion not to use contraceptives, and a fertility rate barely over 1. You can bet it is not because they practice celibacy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
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    That is not so common.
    Also compliance with any such idiotic rules is even less common. Look at the most Catholic country on Earth - Italy. Clear cut order from their religion not to use contraceptives, and a fertility rate barely over 1. You can bet it is not because they practice celibacy!
    First off I would disagree with your contention that Italy is the most Catholic-- for many of its citizens it's a superficial religion and only a 3rd even bother to go to church anymore(I've been there many times). Religion, however, is far more compelling in Africa and the Middle East particularly in regions where there is virtually no education system. Women's rights are the driving force behind population growth and are often in direct opposition to traditional values and religious teachings--we even see that influence in the US.
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    If they had larger centralised city dwelling populations then they could improve living standards and education etc.
    Unfortunately,there is too many ``if`` in your suggestion.If we try to solve some serious problem then the right approach is start from easiest way to solve it than to wait for longest and more difficult things to happen.Third world countries have fertility rates which far higher than they need for a simple population substitution.There is simply no sense in it.Many of such countrie principally do not want to regulate fertility rates and regard it as one more argument in relations with civilized countries.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    If they had larger centralised city dwelling populations then they could improve living standards and education etc.
    Unfortunately,there is too many ``if`` in your suggestion.If we try to solve some serious problem then the right approach is start from easiest way to solve it than to wait for longest and more difficult things to happen.Third world countries have fertility rates which far higher than they need for a simple population substitution.There is simply no sense in it.Many of such countrie principally do not want to regulate fertility rates and regard it as one more argument in relations with civilized countries.
    No my take would be some different, I would use some of the aid budget to setting up training in all aspects of building and construction, also specific training in the manufacture of building materials, then give incentives for people from the country to come and train. This would result in people then going on to have construction jobs and expanding the cities and providing homes to relocate their families to these new constructed city suburbs. I would also have them build new factories to provide urban jobs and the things they will need for better lives.

    This would help set them on a path away from destroying vast areas of land, giving them better living standards, providing education and giving them jobs also most of the actual work would be accomplished by them themselves so it wouldn't require huge sums of money.
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    China currently has one child per family policy and this country develops.It is far from being
    a humanitarian aid recepient.It proves that one child per family policy is wise indeed.
    Building more factories means consuming far more resources,polution and potential production of powerfull weapons and is not a wise policy.
    Last edited by Stanley514; May 9th, 2012 at 07:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    China currently has one child per family policy and this country develops.It is far from being
    a humanitarian aid recepient.It proves that one child per family policy is wise indeed.
    Building more factories means consuming far more resources,polution and potential production of powerfull weapons and is not a wise policy.
    China is currently experiencing work force problems because of a shortage of workers!
    Also factories could be built that are less poluting, with greater production capacity and efficency to replace existing ones.
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    China is currently experiencing work force problems because of a shortage of workers!
    Could you give me a link to such a statements in a serious press?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    China is currently experiencing work force problems because of a shortage of workers!
    Could you give me a link to such a statements in a serious press?

    Sure, but it's common knowledge not really a big story any more.

    Here are a few links:

    Labor shortage hits China

    Crippling Worker Shortages Hit China's Key Manufacturing Hubs - Business Insider

    http://www.supplychains.com/en/art/3948/

    When a Billion Isn’t Enough: China Faces a Labor Shortage

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/wo...a/30china.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post

    China is currently experiencing work force problems because of a shortage of workers!
    That is a very good thing!
    Where there is a shortage of labour, wages rise and job conditions improve due to competition for workers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chrisgorlitz View Post

    China is currently experiencing work force problems because of a shortage of workers!
    That is a very good thing!
    Where there is a shortage of labour, wages rise and job conditions improve due to competition for workers.
    I think you are quite correct it is actually pushing up wages and living standards are improving in china, which is 'a very good thing'.
    But we have to realise that this only in part down to the rise in china's population. Over the past 4 decades china's population has risen by about 500 million people.
    Yet this is still a country with a population density of only appoximately half that of the UK.

    Many of the worlds poorest countries have much much lower population densities, just for example angola has a population density at one 15th that of china and botswana has a 50th the population density.

    What this shows is that for the most part population density isn't the deciding factor for wether a country is poor. It also means that actually stopping these poor countries from increasing their populations certainly isn't going to be of any benefit to them.

    Whilst again I suggest that most of the changes that have happened in china in regard to higher wages and living standards are down to the way the country has and is being run it cannot be ignored that the extra 500 million people have provided china with a workforce to become a major economic power house.

    With all this in mind I would again suggest forgetting about population control and concentrate on better management.
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    I agree with most of what you said. A minor correction, though. The population density of China and Angola is greater than you suggest. The reason is that those nations have large areas of desert with almost no people. So the populated areas are, in fact, rather heavily populated.

    Forgetting about population control?
    Well, there is a clear need to reduce the rate of population growth and gain stability. However, this seems to be happening without draconian government action, anyway. The world can support quite a lot of humans, especially with the growing level of technology humanity has. That does not make excessive numbers a good thing, though.
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    Try to compare it to the netherlands, thats WAY more heavily populated then the UK.

    On second note, skeptic, the growth on human technology will only go so far as how much energy we have to transport the food/supplies. More and more power is needed, and little new energy scources are being thought off and created. Most "improvements" involving food, are due to chopping down rainforests, and heavy trolling (fishing).
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    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Energy, in general, is one of the things we have in massive abundance - at least in theory. Fossil fuels are a limited resource. But other sources of energy, including solar, ocean wave, hot rock geothermal, thorium based nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and so on, are theoretically capable of supplying humankind with more energy than we will ever need. These potential technologies are already being worked on, and in some cases are already generating electricity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Try to compare it to the netherlands, thats WAY more heavily populated then the UK.

    On second note, skeptic, the growth on human technology will only go so far as how much energy we have to transport the food/supplies. More and more power is needed, and little new energy scources are being thought off and created. Most "improvements" involving food, are due to chopping down rainforests, and heavy trolling (fishing).
    I often visit the netherlands, usually as part of my frequent trips to berlin, and haven't really ever thought that it would be better with a tenth as many people living there. I may have thought at times that amsterdam could do with a few less cars, last time I tried the park n ride and ended in some massive fashion centre/shopping mall and it took me quite a while to find where to get the bus from, excuse the little rant, but then not every has to have a car. I have since decided it's far easier to park in leiden and take the train to central station. Anyway my point is that having lots of people living there doesn't matter and high population density makes public transport cheaper and more effiecient. There are real world benefits of having lots of people living in small areas. Fire and police departments for example can easily cover a small area of lots of people, but will struggle with a large are of the same amount of people because it will take to long to get around. This is just one example of the many economies of scale that exist with a high population density area.
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    Energy, in general, is one of the things we have in massive abundance - at least in theory. Fossil fuels are a limited resource. But other sources of energy, including solar, ocean wave, hot rock geothermal, thorium based nuclear fission, nuclear fusion and so on, are theoretically capable of supplying humankind with more energy than we will ever need. These potential technologies are already being worked on, and in some cases are already generating electricity.
    Most of technologies that you mentioned here have qiute limited success.For example if World is going to produce all energy it needs from solar panels,it will consume all known reserves of aluminum and some other metals to built them and the first panels will get out of order before the latest will be constructed.There is no commercially operated Thorium or Hot Rock or fusion power plant.And traditional energy sources such as fossil fuel are terribly exausted already.The cheap energy free of problems is a very thing that still should be discovered or developed.
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    I suggest you do some research before posting fallacies.

    You said the world will consume all known reserves of aluminium. Got news for you. The Earth's crust is 8% aluminium. There is no way we will ever consume it all. Even the amount of easily extractable ore is massive.

    On thorium reactors, we have these in operation, generating electricity right now in both China and India. Admittedly small scale. But anything like that has to start somewhere.
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    You said the world will consume all known reserves of aluminium. Got news for you. The Earth's crust is 8% aluminium. There is no way we will ever consume it all. Even the amount of easily extractable ore is massive.
    I do not know what did they mean exactly.Maybe entire World production of aluminum or reserves which could be retreived economically.But this is just valid example to understand magnitude of the problem.Also solar cells use precious or rare metals as current collectors etc.
    On thorium reactors, we have these in operation, generating electricity right now in both China and India. Admittedly small scale.
    Already in operation?Could you give some link?
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    Check this reference for examples :
    Thorium - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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  100. #99  
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    There is no said that any commercial Thorium reactor is already operational.
    Antislavery
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  101. #100  
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    It is true that the current interest in thorium is recent. The USA abandoned thorium decades back, because they could not use it to make bombs.

    However, the current situation is very strong interest and construction of reactors under way. One in India is operational.
    Archived-Articles: The Nuke Scare

    I quote :

    "Thorium reactors were successfully operated in the U.S. before being abandoned in favor of LWRs. India is the center of current Thorium power research, with one experimental reactor currently operating and five more in the construction stage. India hopes to see its nuclear power system running completely on Thorium by 2030."
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