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Forum posts for How long does the world have left?

I don't know if I should wade into this.
Posted by phduffy on Dec 22, 2003
Mike, I like how all your posts include the fact that there's no way to change your mind, and that you don't care what anyone says, your mind is made up.
Then you challenge people to present "facts", which you then dismiss by saying that your mind is already made up, and you don't care how many facts you're shown.

A Diamond is valuable because DeBeers has set up an international cartel, and until last year they were they only people you could buy diamonds from. Cartels are ilegal in most countries, but people have a hard time enforcing rules against a government cartel.

"If there were no money there would be no war, and there would be much less crime" Right, obviously, that's why we have so much less crime than in the middle ages, and then in ancient times when the Greeks and the Romans were at war with everyone. Must also be why crime rates are way higher in low incomes areas and low income countries. Newsflash: No money makes more crime, as people still want to get better shit, but they only way to do it is through crime.

I have no idea what the hell you're talking about in reference to space. What countries are arguing about going to space? Maybe we've decided that it's better to spend the money somewhere else? Why would we just focus all our energy on it? What if people don't want to work on space stations? What if Burger King is paying more than NASA?

Your 'point' about money can't be proven wrong because there is no way to test your hypothesis. I'm not quite sure what you're advocating, but it sure sounds like communism. This would be the system that lead to death and destruction in Russia, China, and South America. The system that is full of complete corruption and disregard for human life. To quote the immortal Homer J. Simpson "Sure Commusins works... in theory". In reality people want some reward for their work. In reality, the doctor that spent 10 years learning his trade wants a greater reward than the garbage man that dropped out of school. This is not bullshit, but a demonstratable fact based on the experience in Russia and China and the rest of the communist world.

I think out society (in Canada) is pretty good. I don't think there's many people saying it's perfect, but I certainly wouldn't call it crap. Is there work to be done on a worldwide scale? Of course, there's all kinds of work to be done.

No one is in favour of destroying the planet entirely. My guess is that people feel that there needs to be a balance, and that's why no one votes for the Green Party. To say that disagreeing with you is a vote for mass suicide is a strawman and is pure nonsense. No one thinks we should kill the earth. That doens't mean we have to abandon all the freedoms that we've achieved.

Posted by alltogethernow on Dec 22, 2003
"On a long enough timeline, the survival
rate for everyone drops to zero"
- edward norton, fight club

Think about this..
We speak about saving the planet for our children, for our children's children.. etc etc.. And this is probably a nice .. humane thing to do
In approx 5 billion years (give or take a billion years).. the sun is going to give out.. and kill all life on earth..
So, I guess what I am saying is that there is a certain futillity to all human achievement, well at least on earth.. My philosophy is to live your life the best way you can.. Try not to pollute more than necessary, don't kill any endangered animals, and treat others the way you want to be treated..
On a world stage there is very little you can do, political leaders will always have vested interests.. some people will always be scum.. and MOST people will act in stupid selfish ways...
Sit back and enjoy.. relax and try to ignore the bad stuff.. and cherish the good stuff.. If something amazingly bad happens.. laugh at it.. Christ G.W. Bush gives you enough to laugh at everytime he opens his mouth.. and that video of Saddam being checked out.. my my .. It's like your crazy uncle was just brought back to the old age home after a week on the lam..

thats my two cents
trevor (who finally has enough time to express his opinions.. )

Posted by cosmicfish on Dec 22, 2003
There is a lot of stupid shit that is going on that is raping the earth. It's like humanity is slowly rolling down a big hill into an oblivion. I say slowly because people are doing good things too, like finding cures for diseases and falling in love and creating beautiful music and stories, etc. And we should cherish and focus on the good stuff, so we know why we are saving ourselves, but I don't think we can ignore the bad stuff. Don't think about it all the timeof course, I would have killed myself a long time ago if I hadn't made myself think more about the good things. But we have to take some responsiblity for what we are doing. I think most people don't think about the rest of the world except for the 20 minutes a day they watch the news, even then, it is far away and not really their problem.

A lot of people are really extreme when talking about things like this, I am probably one of them. But to start it doesn't take much, like Paul's post about doing (or not doing) three things, or voting for someone who really values education because that is so fucking important, or throwing a can a soup (less than a dollar) in a food drive box at the grocery store. And talking about it on forums like this.

I better stop writing or I'm going to start crying. ack.

Posted by phduffy on Dec 22, 2003
cosmic fish, you actually posted something I said and pointed to it as a good thing!
I think that that's the first time something like that has happened on this website!

Now, I just need 3 more things to add to my three things!

Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
It's not communism. Communism is a system based on money. What I am describing is based on harmony. They had money in the middle ages, they fought over land which was in turn money. Religion would still cause problems, I understand that money isn't the sole root of all problems.

I wish there was telepathy. I cannot put my thoughts into words properly. Although my post somewhat describes my concept, it does not fully descibe it. Before arguing you have to stop judging what I am talking about from the standpoint that the current system has conditioned you to.

Yesterday was a bit of an odd day. I had nothing to occupy my mind, so I was, sadly, forced to sit and think about things. I don't really like when that happens to me since some of the stuff is a little scary (not the right word, but it has to do, language is limmiting). I am a very stubborn person and my mind is usually made up. I am willing to admit it and I am glad that it doesn't stop people from trying to change it. Sometimes I am wrong, and I am sure a lot of people think I am wrong a lot. I welcome the ensuing debates.

I am going to try to make one point here, and try not to judge it from our current standpoint. That always wrecks my points. I like to seperate from what we are forced to accept and think as though all of these rules weren't already in place. I suppose that my idea only works if everybody gets along, which they don't. I would just like to think that it is at least possible, even though not probable, that people could just get along with each other on a large scale.

With no money (mind open!) we could do anything without the constraints that are currently imposed by the monetary system. If we decided that we wanted to build the worlds most efficient city, we could. Remember that with no money all that would be required would be :
1.) thought
2.) materials (resources)
3.) labour

Money is holding us back. Money adds to us not getting along. I thought I made the point that I realize a changeover

I said I woulnd't argue.
I am a lying bastard. I just wish the things I say didn't fall on deaf ears so often. Maybe I am crazy.

PHD you win. Let's keep our thoughts inside the box. We should't try to think of a better system. We should accept what we have and live with all this bullshit.

Again my opinion. Try to change it. It is possible, but not probable, just like everyone getting along.

Posted by cosmicfish on Dec 23, 2003
Mike, I agree with you about needing a whole new system where people do things purely to better themselves and not for money. Do you know where this amazing world already exists? Star Trek. (Yes, I know this is not real, but it's a good idea, to bad we don't know how to get there.)

But maybe in the future when you are trying to convince someone of something, no matter how mad you get, it's better to be nice about it and not attack one person instead of the system.

Posted by phduffy on Dec 23, 2003
If I have been attacking anyone as a person I apologize.

We need a system where people do things purely to better themselves and not for money.

Two things:
1) This has already been tried in the extreme in communism. YOu can say that this system isn't about communism, but if you want something where people do things only to better themselves, or to better society. And that's been tried, and it failed horribly and cost millions of lives. It also stifles development.
Now, you could argue that what was practiced wasn't true communism or socialism in that there weren't democratic elections, but I think the point is that that system inevitably leads to corruption.

2) By having a monetary system, you ensure that people better themselves! Money is a motivator, and it allows people to be motivated. Want to make lots of money? Become a doctor and save lives! Become an engineer and design all kinds of cool shit! Become an actor and entertain millions! In general, the harder you work, the more money you make. So, you're helping everyone by working harder, which in turn leads to more money for you!

Are you sure they don't get paid on Star Trek? When they're on leave they seem to be spending money.

I think that the main difference between my point of view and the point of view of cosmicfish and Mike is that I think that humans are all basically decent. You guys are alot more pessimistic, and seem to think that humans are just out to rape and pillage the earth. Actually, Mike, I'm not sure what you think, because one minute you're saying that at least 51% of people hate the earth and want it to die, and the next minute you're saying that you think everyone could give up money and live selflessly for the good of everyone. Those two opinions would appear to be contradictory.

All this bullshit
Posted by phduffy on Dec 23, 2003
Mike, on numerous times you have stated that our system is bullshit/crap and that we're living with all this bullshit.

What is it about our system in Canada that you feel is so offensive? Forget about the rest of the world for a second. What about Canada is so horrible?

Is it the consumerism? Is it the environmental stuff?

Cause I think we have a pretty fantastic system in Canada. Sure it's not perfect, but I think of perfection as a moving target that we'll never reach. Just keep moving towards it and things will be pretty good.

Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
I just typed a huge post that I think summed up my appology and answered some PHD's questions before he even asked. Unfortunately for whatever reason it was impossible for it to posrt to the Wolfshack. I don't understand and am quite disheartened by it. I blame the internet here at work.

Let's see... ah yes.

First of all, I pretty much wish I had not posted the article yesterday. Although I stand by what I said, I still shouldn't have said it.

Upon thinking about it, I have been quite the asshole for as long as I can recall. I am not effective at communicating. I is one of my biggest regrets since I believe that it is one of the things which holds me back from being better than I currently am. I get VERY frustrated, and in turn angry, when I completely fail to prove my point and my entire issue gets confused. I feel very dtrongly about a lot of things, call me uninformed if you want, but I feel how I feel. For whatever reason I have an inability to transfer the thoughts in my head into completely understandable terms, and it makes me very frustrated when I end up confusing those who I am trying to convince.

To be honest I thought that the diamond thing was great. Apparently I was wrong. The point was entirely missed and instead of being metaphor it was taken in a way that I fail to understand. When people don't get my point I conlude that their mind must be closed. In fact when I completely fail to outline the parameters of my point, how can I expect people not to argue with me about it.

It is one thing for me to say "to each thier own" so much. It is another thing to understand and apply that knowledge myself.

I wish to appologize to PHD and anyone else who I may have offended. It would appear, in retrosspect, that I behave in this manner quite frequently. It isn't right, and I thank you for pointing it out. I would like to justify why I do it, but that isn't the point, my reasoning doesn't make it right.

I ahdn't really thought about the Star Trek connection, but there are too many startling similarities, it had to influence me in some way. Perhaps I watch too much TV, but it is still a better system than we have now. I don't know ho to go about getting beamed (heh) into the Star Trek universe, but I do believ I know what needs to happen for our own system to change. I however will not be saying what I believe.

I musn't understand what communism truly is, because China and Russia were in no way even similar to what I am describing. Perhaps that is my inability to define what I mean again. Communism is based on money (as far as I know), everyone jsut gets the same amount of money.

Canada is the best country that I know of. Accepting things as they are because i live in a place which iss essentially the least of all of the evil's just doesn't work for me.

It's everything. Pick everything that you think might be bad, that is what I am talking about. Yes the consumerism, yes the environment, yes the corporations, yes all the complacency, yes in some ways the industry, yes the lack of quality when quantity will do. It is all horrible to me. That is all withing Canada, I'm not even going to elaborate on the world as a whole. If you can actually go out and look around and not see what I am talking about then I have not presented my point properly. You missed it, and I am willing to concede that that is most likely my fault.

The only thing that makes me not want to delete the entire atricle is the fact that at least someone seems to get it. Thank you.

I don't give 2 craps about why DeBeers has told us diamonds are so valuable. If you actually think about it, and I mean remove all of the ingrained thought patterns which DeBeers (for the sake of argument) has jammed into you, diamonds are worthless other than their practical value.

It pains me to say it, but unless what might happen actaully happens, then there is no place in the world for what I am talking about. I am convinced that yet again I have started an argument when it has just been my inability to get my point across that is the problem.

It has been admitted " We need a system where people do things purely to better themselves and not for money." That will have to do for now.

I concede, if you want to win the argument then you have it. With the things you are saying I cannot deny you that due to our current standards and values, but mostly due to human thought, temperment, mentality, etc. the perfect system which I have tried (and possibly failed) to outline DOES NOT WORK.

That makes me sad. I honestly can't believe that even though humans have "evolved" to the point where they belive them selves to be above animals, we still behave like animals. Have you ever seen seagulls at the dump fighting over a piece of garbage? That's what I see in humans and thier quest for money.

I am tired of it. I am going too far again.. sorry. Homer Simpson said something to the effect of I get angry because I am passionate. Seems right.

So until things change I too must try to get by in the current system.

This soiled diaper is mine!! Get the hell away from it!!! SCREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

My lost post seems much better than this one, but since it doesn't exist, that is easy to say.

Again, my origional intent was to appologize:

I am sorry that I got personal. I appologize to PHD and anyone else who I have offended. The list may be too large to name names. Unfortunately I have previously attempted to justify my actions, that is another thing that I feel I must do. However, the fact is that justifying it doesn't make it right. There are hideaous examples of that going on as I type.

Dammit!!! I keep clouding the iisue.

I am sorry. Merry Christmas.

Posted by phduffy on Dec 23, 2003
If you think you're going to have a big long post, write in out in Word first.

Then if things screw you up, you still have it and can post it later. I learned this lesson on the original Wolfshack... I cried to Nerhael, and he made that suggestion, and it makes alot of sense.

I'm agreeing with you about Diamonds.

They shouldn't be as valuable as they are, but because DeBeers has a near unbreakable lock on the diamond market, they're overvalued. That's all I'm saying.

Star Trek
Posted by cosmicfish on Dec 23, 2003
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that on Star Trek they don't get paid. I recall Piccard talking about working soley for the betterment of mankind.

Canada is pretty good, I agree with what you (phduffy) said about it.

I don't think people are bad or good. I think people are not being responsible. Money is a motivator. But motivating us to what? Have big ridiculous vehicles, fancy name brand clothes, a better snow blower then the guy next door. I'm not arguing for equality or human rights or communism. We need something 100% new with freedom to practice what ever religion you want or to grow feilds of carrots or to lock yourself away in a room and read for a year if you want. With pretty rainbows and sunshine everywhere. Also in this wonderful world, you could put out word that you want to go to space (for exaple). Everyone who also wanted to go to space could work with you together, everyone participating in everything and doing what they love and do best. They feed themselves and clean up after themselves and get to the moon by themselves and everyone is happy for them. I'm not pessimistic, I belive people have this enormous potential in them to have a near perfect world.

Finally!!! Happy!!!
Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
I don't think the people on star trek get paid. What would they buy? If they want something their replicator thingy makes it for them.

I think I have been led to believe by certain episodes (I am not sure which ones) where they go on shore leave that they do procure a few goods in some fashion. I don't know what system they employ. Perhaps barter? But barter leads to a possible unecessarry and unequal valuation of goods which goes against the system they seems to have in place.

Sadly I have a tendency to be quite pessimistic. That is part of my problem with even writing my origional article. I shouldn't have brought up so much stuff I don't like, it was like a giant blob of pessimism which should have been stated in a more possitive fashion. I think that humanity as a whole has almost limitless potential for good (but also for evil). Humanity (as a whole, not necessarily everybody, or specific individuals) has several very dangerous traits which I would prefer not to elaborate on. Once certain hurdles are jumped, perhaps we can have a near perfect system.

Our current system in Canada is quite enjoyable. Better than anywhere I am aware of. I just want to see it get even better. I want to see humanity use it;s potential for the common good through togetherness. I think no money would help that considerably. Perhaps it would not. Motivation should come from within, not be pulled up fro the outside for the sake of personal gain. You should be able to do whatever it is that you love. I think that given no specific motivation people would not just sit around and do nothing (this requires tricky clarification, doing nothing is to be completely unproductive, technically even twiddling your thumbs is doing something). You need to get certain things accomplished just to survive.

Perhaps I am being selfish. My wanting a better palce in which I (and everyone else) am free to do what I (they) want to do might come off that way.

If there was no money and you could do just about whatever you wanted I know what I would like to do, or at least I think that I know. I would build a whole bunch of stuff, that is what I truly enjoy, building things from wood, metals, just about anything (I used to build a bunch of stuff from popsicle sticks when I was a kid). I just really like building things: bridges, toys, desks, frames, you get the point. With the current situation I cannot do what I want, so I have gotten as close as possible, that is why i overall like my job. I'll bet that some of you have a perception that I would just lay around (getting drunk, etc.) and not do what I have just said. I disagree. Idleness only suits me on my not-at-work time because I have expended too much energy at work, I use my off time to recharge.

Some of the stuff I built would be useful, some of it not. The useful stuff would serve as a prototype, if someone liked it and wanted one of thier own, but lacked the specific skills to achieve it, I would want to teach them to build it themselves. If that is not what they wanted to do (build it themselves that is) I would simply build one for them if they wanted. Hopefully this would be done under the understanding that there is give and take to the system. If I was unable to get food for some reason, I would hope that it would also be made available by those who excelled at it. That is to say that I could learn from them if I chose to, or it would be provided for the greater good.

I would like to think that everyone has specific skills which they would truly love to employ for the greater good. Some would be better than others, perhaps through a system of guild type groupings thier would be training and sharing of ideas. I don't think there would be considerable idleness. Perhaps some would prefer to continuously learn and study indefinitely as is the case even now. That's great. Reading for a year works. Anything that you would like.

I am working under the assumption of course that without any specific motivation some people wouldn't just turn their brain off and go catatonic. I really don't think that would happen. Perhaps I miss the point about motivation, but that is what i perceive has been suggested by a lack of money would result in a lack of motivation.

I encourage all to stop thinking about the debate for a minute and think what you would do if the shackles were removed and you were free to do whatever you felt like. I suppose endless vacationing could become a problem, but hteir would be an alternative society in place (I would think) that would instill a sense of giving back to the community. Plus someone has to be their for those people who would choose to guide tours all the time because that is what they would truly love.

The thought that some day it might be possible makes me very happy. I think it might make you happy to. I would really like to hear what each person would do given the opportunity. Seriously. What would you do?

This particular post has made me very happy (no not in my pants, just in general). I would like to thank everyone involved. I am not specifically sure what made me think of all this good stuff, but it is much better than "bad" stuff.

Really. What would you do? It interests me more than you could ever know to know what my friends would do in the outlined situation. Make fun if you want to, just please say something.

Posted by phduffy on Dec 23, 2003
My head is about to explode!

Are you saying that we should have a barter system?
Because we have the ultimate barter system right now! That's what money is! People used to only barter, but then they realized that that causes all sorts of problems, so they invented money.

Money is the final stage in a barter system!

Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
Do you speed read? I totally brought that up (as I do) as a possible solution and then shot it down myself in the first part of my last post (about Star Trek).

MY head is exploding. I SAID:
"But barter leads to a possible unecessarry and unequal valuation of goods which goes against the system they seems to have in place."

Barter is basically the same as money when you boil it down. Barter involves putting a specific value on something. 1 hat is worth 4 loaves of bread. That is barter. That is pretty much just like money. Money ruins everything. I said cast off the conventions of society as we know it. Think like this just for one minute (risk your head popping off):
"No one thing has more specific value than another above and beyond ists practical purpose". This means (to me anyway) that dog poo has no specific value (unless we find one), steel does have a value, but it is no more valueable than gold, or diamond, or soil, or corn. Some things are just more necessary than others. Supply and demand doesn't exist. Cooperation does.

If I need a hammer and you have 2 hammers (assuming you only needed one) then with the better system you would most likely just give me hammer. Later down the road if you needed a cow for meat and I had enough cows to go around then I would give you a cow. This transaction would take place on a much larger scale however.:

You give me a hammer, Jimmy puts a roof on your house, Willy Wutang cuts Jimmy's grass, Amy gives Willy Wutang a ride to Timbuktoo, Victor makes Amy some shoes, Gary bakes Victor some bread, Sarah fixes Gary's leaky radiator. I really hope that clarifies. Its not a humongous concept. You don't give to get something in return, you give because it's the right thing to do, not because it is to you specific advantage.

It's Christmas. Think as if every day is Christmas in a way. Only everybody is on your list, and you are on everybody else's list.

If you want to call that barter, I think you would be wrong to do so, but go ahead.

Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
I have done it again. This is sooooo frustrating. I realize that the concept must seem kind of foreign and I shouldn't take it for granted that people will understand it the way I think I do. It is clear in my mind, but my explanation may be unclear.

I will clarify as much as I can stand to. Sorry, fire away with questions.

However, I have posed the question of what would you truly like to do in a system where you can contribute in any way you want.

What would you do? Just thinking about this (apparently ridiculous in the opinion of some) situation may guide you in your own life under the system which we have now.

What would you do? I said I would build things. What would others do? I think that is very interesting. Given time and resources, what would you do?

I would...
Posted by cosmicfish on Dec 23, 2003
paint, grow vegetables, make video games and live in a giant tree house in the woods

More! More!
Posted by mike on Dec 23, 2003
See, that is awesome. Much better than arguing.

I have often wondered about building a house in a tree or around a tree, using the tree as the main strucural component. There are several stumbling blocks I couldn't pass:
-how to make it water tight
-how to attach the structure to the tree without killing or seriously endangering the tree.
-how to cope with the large loadings on the structure due to the trees growth and movement. I think floating joints (like a floating bearing) would do the trick.

Once you pass those main stumbling blocks it'd be awesome. If you just top a large (and I mean large diameter) tree and use the trunk as a base (killing the tree), it would work pretty good until the roots gave way.

More! More! We are learning so much here!

RE: giant post being lost
Posted by Nerhael on Dec 24, 2003
Um...see, here's the thing, your session only stays alive for 15 or so minutes if you don't do anything, IE time spent writing a post, so if you start a post, but don't finish it before that time, when you post, it can't find the right information.

If you get some weird error, one solution is to leave the error there, and open another browser window, goto the site, and log in again, then go back to that other browser window, and hit F5, which will repost the message.

Other than that, yes, using word for long posts first is a good idea.

RE: what would I do?
Posted by Nerhael on Dec 24, 2003
Read. I'd totally want to read for 3-5 years straight I think. So much I know nothing about that I'd want to know about. After that, design video games/write novels/screenplays. I could never really do either right now, as I never had the proper motivation ambition, otherwise I would be doing it now.

Posted by phduffy on Dec 24, 2003
If you don't have the motivation to do that stuff now, why would you have the motivation to do it then?

Posted by Nerhael on Dec 25, 2003
One could contribute the lack of motivation to the idea that I didn't believe those to be 'practical' goals.

A lot of people cut out career paths that they would enjoy because they don't think it's respectable or...not sure that's the right word I mean. A lot of people are also guided by what their parents feel is a successful job in life. I don't necessary feel this way, but I've seen it happen. Sometimes directly, (IE, their parents probably wouldn't have paid for their education if they hadn't done something practical), or just being told all through your childhood that arts can't get you anywhere, math and science is the way to go.

So the things you think of as good naturally, games, books etc, you regard as negative, base ambitions, so suppress them.

Heh, I'm full of answers on motivational behaviour. I actually wish I had more formal education in that.