The Zeitgeist Movement - Give me your best shot.

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Adam-Anti-Um
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06 Jul 2012, 4:40 pm

Hey guys, for a future edition (Possibly a 2-part episode if there's enough feedback) of AAUTZM Podcasts I'm gonna devote to criticisms, attacks and disputes.

Essentially I'm asking for your best shot against the proposal of a Resource-Based Economic Model. I'm not pulling any punches anymore, I don't want your 5th best argument, I want your best. Your die-cast iron-clad case against it.

Fancy your chances of stumping me on my own radio show?


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DC
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06 Jul 2012, 5:42 pm

The who the what the where?


Huh?


Perhaps if you explained things a little more we would be more responsive, at the moment 'the who the what the where' and complete bewilderment is all you get.

PS yes I can't be arsed to google it when you are exuding such an aura of supremacy for your personal beliefs, try explaining the s**t first.



Joker
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06 Jul 2012, 5:48 pm

DC wrote:
The who the what the where?


Huh?


Perhaps if you explained things a little more we would be more responsive, at the moment 'the who the what the where' and complete bewilderment is all you get.

PS yes I can't be arsed to google it when you are exuding such an aura of supremacy for your personal beliefs, try explaining the sh** first.


:lol: pretty much what he said.



Adam-Anti-Um
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06 Jul 2012, 5:51 pm

DC wrote:
The who the what the where?


Huh?


Perhaps if you explained things a little more we would be more responsive, at the moment 'the who the what the where' and complete bewilderment is all you get.

PS yes I can't be arsed to google it when you are exuding such an aura of supremacy for your personal beliefs, try explaining the sh** first.


No problem, I must have underestimated how long it was since I discussed this on here (It has been preeeeetty extensive in the past).

To first define the terms, a Resource-Based Economic Model (RBEM) is an approach to socioeconomics which takes into consideration the finite resources of the planet, uses automation to liberate human beings from life-wasting labour in addition to helping provide an access abunance of the necessities of life, and uses the scientific method for social and environmental concern as a means of arriving at decisions. A true "economy" as it were. This orientation of intelligent resource management is also bolstered by a shift in our value systems to take into consideration the fact that we live in a world where everything is always changing in addition to the fact that we are all interconnected through the processes of this biosphere we live on.

The Zeitgeist Movement (TZM) is a global grassroots sustainability advocacy group. It is our task to spread information as to how the current system works and is not sustainable, in addition to how a viable solution can be sought through the transition to sustainable systems. Our efforts comprise multiple approaches such as street activism, lectures, media events/projects and charity work.

Essentially we recognise that the current monetary-market model is an anti-economic system that does not have the interests of humans or the planet at heart. It is based upon infinite growth and infinite consumption, but we live on a planet of finite resources. Thus a shift in our values, and therefore a shift in methodology is required. We advocate the process of addressing the root causes of problems and solving them through technical and compassionate means instead of merely treating the symptoms with patchwork legislation and subjective human opinion which does nothing to solve anything and in fact perpetuates problems.

This is one of the reasons we advocate the move away from a monetary system. Money in of itself is already obsolete. It is not money that any of us need, it is access to what that money would have bought. We are alive, thus we are all inherantly deserving of what this planet can provide, and the fact that we are the only species that puts a system of debt, exchange and indentured servitude in between ourselves and our survival is ridiculous. We have the resources and the technology to feed, clothe, educate and provide for all 7 billion people on this planet. Probably billions more, however money will never achieve this goal.

The inherant logic of our current system is inflationary. It is what is causing the escalating debts, deprivation, suffering and death, at its foundational logic. We owe it to both ourselves and future generations to take the humane and logical step to ceise consuming and polluting this planet and embrace the survival of life on the planet as a whole. Only then could be earn the right to call ourselves "civilised".

Just to make it clear, this proposal is neither communist, marxist, socialist, anarchist or technocratic. No system that mankind has proposed before has existed without the need for money, social stratification, and a human labour force as the prime driver of the "economy". Neither have they proposed what we propose. In order to survive and thrive on this planet we need to be moving forward, not backward, aligned with the symbiotic and emergent aspects of natural law, not stagnating under outdated mentalities of politics and money. We call for love, not fear, understanding, not ignorance, and unification, not segregation. We as Earth are one singular organism. It is time we behaved as such.

If you wish to find out more about an RBEM and the organisations working to make it a reality here are some uselful links:

www.thezeitgeistmovement.com
www.thezeitgeistmovementuk.com
www.thevenusproject.com

Alternatively for a quick introduction the following videos are extremely helpful:

The Concepts of an RBE
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Kuqlx72X8[/youtube]

An Introduction to a Resource Based Economy (TEDx)
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mkRFCtl2MI[/youtube]

Also if you wanted to find out what questions I have already answered in my podcasts here is the link:

AAUTZM Podcasts


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Xelebes
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06 Jul 2012, 10:01 pm

Resource-Based Model versus what? Or do you mean Tangible-Based Model?

A lot of what the Zeitgeist movement is based upon is A) a reaction to the basket-crowding¹ of the finance sector and B) naïvete of what money² is.

¹ Basket-crowding refers to the basket of goods one buys. Crowding the basket means one or more items are squeezing out other things. In the past 30 years, an aging baby-boomer population has started trying to save for their retirement, thus creating large numbers of people who hold shares and bonds. Some even own funds in indices and hold derivatives. Over those years, this saving stuff crowds out other basket goods like food, clothing and other day-to-day things. As the large bubble of population approaches retirement, the finance market is thoroughly saturated with nothing really to buy, so bubbles happen.

² Debt is a resource. It is an IOU which can be traded and its value is generally understood. The problem with money is not the fleeting value of it, but rather that it is extremely liquid. There is no other asset that is as liquid. By liquid, I mean how fast can you convert that money into something else. If you have enough money, you can buy lots of things - especially the things you need. If you have lots of shag carpet, you're going to have a harder time converting it to something you need. That is how money is supposed to work. Bogging it down with actual resources is going to make the resources it is pegged to harder to obtain and retard the economic or technological development.


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Adam-Anti-Um
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07 Jul 2012, 4:42 am

Xelebes wrote:
Resource-Based Model versus what? Or do you mean Tangible-Based Model?


Its not a "versus" of anything. Its simply the result of systems theory applied to socioeconomics. Think about a social system that operates under the same logic that nature itsef works while utilising automation.

Quote:
A lot of what the Zeitgeist movement is based upon is A) a reaction to the basket-crowding¹ of the finance sector and B) naïvete of what money² is.

¹ Basket-crowding refers to the basket of goods one buys. Crowding the basket means one or more items are squeezing out other things. In the past 30 years, an aging baby-boomer population has started trying to save for their retirement, thus creating large numbers of people who hold shares and bonds. Some even own funds in indices and hold derivatives. Over those years, this saving stuff crowds out other basket goods like food, clothing and other day-to-day things. As the large bubble of population approaches retirement, the finance market is thoroughly saturated with nothing really to buy, so bubbles happen.

² Debt is a resource. It is an IOU which can be traded and its value is generally understood. The problem with money is not the fleeting value of it, but rather that it is extremely liquid. There is no other asset that is as liquid. By liquid, I mean how fast can you convert that money into something else. If you have enough money, you can buy lots of things - especially the things you need. If you have lots of shag carpet, you're going to have a harder time converting it to something you need. That is how money is supposed to work. Bogging it down with actual resources is going to make the resources it is pegged to harder to obtain and retard the economic or technological development.


Actually, its a reaction to the realisation that we cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet and for the survival of life on earth we need a steady-state orientation. A system that economises. Simple. That is why money is obsolete and won't be needed in an RBEM.


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Xelebes
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07 Jul 2012, 12:06 pm

So basically, barter.


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JanuaryMan
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07 Jul 2012, 12:11 pm

Xelebes wrote:
So basically, barter.


You're still thinking within the realms of a society that exists on trade, and not thinking of how one can exist without it. This is almost the first and foremost stumbling block with the Zeitgeist Movement.

With this resource based economy, no one barters. Everyone has access to everything, and as much as they need. Nothing more, and nothing less.

The 2nd stumbling block the Movement has to deal with is informing people how to get this all started. The documentaries cover it. There are a few much longer ones that better explain how this can all be set up. Jacques Fresco is a nifty architect but to be honest unless others such as scientists join in and there is ironically a financial backing from the "old world" to make this new one possible nothing will happen.



Awesomelyglorious
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07 Jul 2012, 12:18 pm

Ok, you are very fond of saying that you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. How much do you see technology growing? When do you see the end of technological progress happening? Because if we do not see the boundary of technological growth and have reason to believe that there is no boundary in our near future or even possibly our distant future, and if economic growth is partially a function of the growth in technology, then what is wrong with modeling things as having unbounded growth?

You seem to be acting like the only possible way to have growth is extensive growth and increasing the number of inputs, but what about intensive growth and improving our efficiency at using resources, which we do have with technology.

Secondly, you made the statement: "Essentially we recognise that the current monetary-market model is an anti-economic system that does not have the interests of humans or the planet at heart. It is based upon infinite growth and infinite consumption". Do you have any evidence? Last I believe we talked, you did not show even a basic awareness of the subject area of economics. If you don't have a basic awareness, what is your basis for making this claim? The reason I bring this up is because growth economics is really peripheral to the field, and most of the arguments for markets and for money were developed independently of any growth model, so talking about how this system is based upon infinite growth doesn't match the intellectual reality.

How do you move away from "patchwork legislation and subjective human opinion"? It's great to say that, but the simple issue is that every human organization to date has had it's own politics, including universities and academic organizations, and once we move into trying to solve complicated problems, we're not likely to get away from this. I mean, talking about "the scientific method.... as a means of arriving at decisions" is insufficient, as anybody who has watched academic bodies knows that disagreement exists on policy proposals, especially as issues get more and more complicated, and anybody who has looked on science knows it's the actions of men and not gods. Are you going to try to have some AI government? Even further, given earlier criticism that you do not seem to even be aware of your self-proclaimed enemies, why should you be trusted to be right on the fundamental problems? Isn't it a problem with the movement that despite it's talk about using the scientific method to arrive at conclusions, the conclusion the movement itself arrives upon isn't the result of any science, and is not endorsed by any major scientific body?

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Think about a social system that operates under the same logic that nature itsef works while utilising automation.


Honestly, I'd say that nature works more like capitalism than any form of scientific decision-making. The simple issue is that nature has no inherent desire for equilibrium, instead a large set of self-interested agents compete for success and the result is the ecosystem. In our economy, a large set of self-interested agents compete for success. I mean, there are some analogy failures, but there have to be because an ecosystem is fundamentally different than a cooperative system.

That being said, how do you handle the transition to this new system, and maintain proper incentives for all people to contribute? Given the entrenched power-structures, it seems nothing short of civil war would be able to succeed, and that civil war would by it's nature tend to lead to the collapse of the post-war government(which would itself be a result of the compromises made by war, and set into place brutally and without the benefit of working through pre-existing norms). Additionally, I would think that many people would likely shirk any responsibilities in a new system, what would prevent that? What would make sure that the institutional framework remains stable rather than corrupted by human interests.(Given that this kind of corruption has existed in basically every past human society)



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07 Jul 2012, 12:44 pm

To break down the answers to your questions, AG:

***You're right, there would need to be a social economic collapse of the highest order, a global catastrophe, or a new enemy which unites all humans in order for this new social and economic system not only to thrive, but forge itself into existence and as the standard to which me must all rise to. While that much is true whether any of us want such things to happen is another story.

***The main fundamental flaw I found with the Zeitgeist Movement is its scope for technology. It is true, we have the technology to do better things now, in some cases certain technologies were suppressed by governments and corporations for DECADES. The goal for this I will get onto later, but regardless of what technology we have now, and can get sky is not the limit. Companies are already forming galactic mining divisions and undergoing R&D to make this a reality. We can keep going, for thousands if not millions of years with the right direction.

***Now onto the current economies not being in human beings' interests. They are trust me, just not EVERY human beings' interests. This system intends to readdress balance to all humans, but as other systems have proven this is barely possible due to the deep rooted nature of the current economic systems in place and how they have corrupted the minds of man.

***Suppressed technology is also a good example of point #3. We the consumer are decades behind schedule due to capitalism and communism and their derivative regimes. Even if you remove monetary trade before the buildup to the resource based economy, those with the technology will be in power still. That technology will be held back as a trade. It is inevitable.

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Someone might ask, "well what do you propose JM if you're such a smartass?" and all I can say is I have no propositions of my own or any ideas. Only that the human race needs to fix itself.



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07 Jul 2012, 2:03 pm

JanuaryMan wrote:
With this resource based economy, no one barters. Everyone has access to everything, and as much as they need. Nothing more, and nothing less.

.


This is where I see the RBE as unsustainable even if it could ever be set up. It assumes that people will simply accept the decision (made by software?) of what constitutes their needs. Of course nobody will say they have been given too much (which is why I didn't bold "nothing less") but an inevitable point of contention will be the "nothing more" part. That is a weak link for corruption and also for violence. Seven billion people are not just going to agree that they have been given the correct amount of resources.



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07 Jul 2012, 2:14 pm

Janissy wrote:
JanuaryMan wrote:
With this resource based economy, no one barters. Everyone has access to everything, and as much as they need. Nothing more, and nothing less.

.


This is where I see the RBE as unsustainable even if it could ever be set up. It assumes that people will simply accept the decision (made by software?) of what constitutes their needs. Of course nobody will say they have been given too much (which is why I didn't bold "nothing less") but an inevitable point of contention will be the "nothing more" part. That is a weak link for corruption and also for violence. Seven billion people are not just going to agree that they have been given the correct amount of resources.


Precisely. Then take into account the global population will rise over the next 2 centuries and at some point reach a plateau of what is sustainable / unsustainable. Then there's the fact that most of the world live in poverty already and some have been killing each other for millennia.



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07 Jul 2012, 2:46 pm

Janissy wrote:
This is where I see the RBE as unsustainable even if it could ever be set up. It assumes that people will simply accept the decision (made by software?) of what constitutes their needs.

What is also often left out of these "software-planned" economies is the algorithm that will be used to distribute resources. It's very easy to say "software will take care of everything" without providing an actual software solution.



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07 Jul 2012, 2:54 pm

Burzum wrote:
What is also often left out of these "software-planned" economies is the algorithm that will be used to distribute resources. It's very easy to say "software will take care of everything" without providing an actual software solution.

Yes, and actual software solutions are very hard. I mean, we have multiple variables, each of them shifting and impacting the goods basket, and then we have to account for the subjective desires of individuals. If we don't then we give everybody grey jumpsuits and few are happy, but once we do, there will be efforts to game the system.



Adam-Anti-Um
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07 Jul 2012, 4:13 pm

Awesomelyglorious wrote:
Ok, you are very fond of saying that you cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet. How much do you see technology growing? When do you see the end of technological progress happening? Because if we do not see the boundary of technological growth and have reason to believe that there is no boundary in our near future or even possibly our distant future, and if economic growth is partially a function of the growth in technology, then what is wrong with modeling things as having unbounded growth?

You seem to be acting like the only possible way to have growth is extensive growth and increasing the number of inputs, but what about intensive growth and improving our efficiency at using resources, which we do have with technology.


Ok, straight out of the gate, these are your best arguments? Ok, fair enough.

You have conflated the context of "growth" here and you know it. When I say growth in this context, I'm talking about the inflation of the currency and the increased consumption of resources. As per the contextual use of growth used by any politician, banker or economist. You know this, but you have tried to crowbar the example of what is actually technologcal innovation into your convoluted interpretation of my usage of the word "growth". I can already tell this refutation is gonna be a doddle.

Quote:
Secondly, you made the statement: "Essentially we recognise that the current monetary-market model is an anti-economic system that does not have the interests of humans or the planet at heart. It is based upon infinite growth and infinite consumption". Do you have any evidence? Last I believe we talked, you did not show even a basic awareness of the subject area of economics. If you don't have a basic awareness, what is your basis for making this claim? The reason I bring this up is because growth economics is really peripheral to the field, and most of the arguments for markets and for money were developed independently of any growth model, so talking about how this system is based upon infinite growth doesn't match the intellectual reality.


Really? Do you really need me to prove to you that the gravitation of the current system is inverse to human well-being? Hows about the fact that the livelihood millions of people who work in the oncology industry and every other industry that exists because of cancer are dependant upon people getting cancer? Howabout the fact that the "Money Sequence of Value" is diametrically opposed to the "Life Sequence of Value"? Howabout the fact that wars, disease, inefficency, pollutants, prison inmate density, make money? Need I go on? For you to ask evidence that a monetary system does not consider human well-being as the utmost concern, saddens me. I even heard a financial advisor on BBC Radio 2 the other day say on the air that the banks are not working for the benefit of the people, but for the profits of their shareholders.

As for the fact that it requires infinite growth and infinite consumption that you have disputed shows that you don't even grasp how GDP functions.

Quote:
How do you move away from "patchwork legislation and subjective human opinion"?


The most frequent question we receive. And if you have viewed any of our answers on this topic you wouldn't have to keep asking.

Quote:
It's great to say that, but the simple issue is that every human organization to date has had it's own politics, including universities and academic organizations, and once we move into trying to solve complicated problems, we're not likely to get away from this. I mean, talking about "the scientific method.... as a means of arriving at decisions" is insufficient, as anybody who has watched academic bodies knows that disagreement exists on policy proposals, especially as issues get more and more complicated, and anybody who has looked on science knows it's the actions of men and not gods. Are you going to try to have some AI government?


Again, you're asking these questions that a viewing of our materials would answer. And if you try to imply that I'm scared to answer them here, I refer you to the extensive explanations I have given on this very forum site.

Quote:
Even further, given earlier criticism that you do not seem to even be aware of your self-proclaimed enemies, why should you be trusted to be right on the fundamental problems? Isn't it a problem with the movement that despite it's talk about using the scientific method to arrive at conclusions, the conclusion the movement itself arrives upon isn't the result of any science, and is not endorsed by any major scientific body?


Evidence of ANY of these claims please?

And I dare say the functioning of your personal human body isn't "endorsed by any major scientific body". But did that stop you from using the scientific method to realise that putting one foot in front of the other enables you to walk? Does that mean that you are forbidden from using science if you lack any establishment backing? lol

Oh, and I doubt that any of the greatest minds, innovators and scientific thinkers in history which we are indebted to for virtually EVERYTHING that we take for granted were "endorsed by any major scientific body". These people weren't even motivated by money.

Quote:
Honestly, I'd say that nature works more like capitalism than any form of scientific decision-making. The simple issue is that nature has no inherent desire for equilibrium, instead a large set of self-interested agents compete for success and the result is the ecosystem. In our economy, a large set of self-interested agents compete for success. I mean, there are some analogy failures, but there have to be because an ecosystem is fundamentally different than a cooperative system.


You're right, your analogy does fail. You are conveniently overlooking one glaringly obvious condition which exists in nature that forces this coercive behaviour. Scarcity. I can understand your assertions here, since every single economic train of thought that has been postualted to this date has scarcity as a driver in some form or other. However we have reached a point now as a species that we can erradicate scarcity for good. This means that perpetuating any pre-existing economic model or even basing any new one on scarcity as an ingredient is inhibitive and rather silly.

The Earth is an interconnected, holistic system that benefits microcosmically and macrocosmically from co-operation. Its the reason why all the organs of your body don't declare war on each other.

Quote:
That being said, how do you handle the transition to this new system, and maintain proper incentives for all people to contribute?


Yet again, you're asking questions that even a fleeting look at our materials will answer.

Quote:
Given the entrenched power-structures, it seems nothing short of civil war would be able to succeed, and that civil war would by it's nature tend to lead to the collapse of the post-war government(which would itself be a result of the compromises made by war, and set into place brutally and without the benefit of working through pre-existing norms).


Wow, I'm glad I don't share your cynicism for the world.

Quote:
Additionally, I would think that many people would likely shirk any responsibilities in a new system, what would prevent that?


yet again, you're asking questons that have already been answered over and over.

Quote:
What would make sure that the institutional framework remains stable rather than corrupted by human interests.(Given that this kind of corruption has existed in basically every past human society)


And yet again another repeatedly answered question.

To be completely honest, I'm disappointed in you. I would have expected you of all people could have stumped me. But yet the best you could muster is the same old questions that I have even myself answered repeatedly in my podcasts, my videos and my zday presentation in London.

I can understand that you cannot even be bothered to research this information for yourself, and thu you feel compelled to have me repeat myself over and over, but I won't. If you want to know the answer to a question that has already answered, then refer to my previous podcasts. I have given nearly 7 whole hours of Misc. Q&A with my podcasts so if you cannot be bothered to listen, then we have nothing further to talk about. You expect me to know what I'm talking about, and you are not immune from that rule. Otherwise you're just asking the same old questions, and I'm giving you the same answers over and over and you are not learning.

So thankyou for presenting your best shot. :)


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Last edited by Adam-Anti-Um on 07 Jul 2012, 6:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.