New Dynamics in Technocracy - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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The solving of mankind’s problems and abolition of government via technological solutions alone.

Moderator: Kolzene

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#14149320
I'm not sure who else here ventures into the technology subforum, but there is a recent thread about some new renovations in indoor farming. For instance, the use of red and blue LEDs stuck out to me. What struck me about this was the thought of the WalMart business model; superior logistics combined w/ one-stop shopping for mass products. With the emergence of 3-D printing in recent years as well, the thought of printing products at a warehouse/distribution center has been bandied about as well. While certain products, such as teas (I assume) and most meats, still need to be produces traditionally, this means the logical extension of a supercenter is not only centralized consumption, but production as well.

Another dynamic I've had in my head for some time was car-printing. Car-shares already exist, but there are some prototypes which exist now that can't find the investment capital to scale up production to be competitive w/ existing companies. However, one model I remember looking at was a weird three-wheeled electric model that ran the equivolent of 100 mpg off a charged battery (which can be switched out, rather than recharged in vehicle) I remember reading about in '09.

One more that needs to be considered are hospitals. We're currently reaching the limit of our capabilities w/ antibiotics, that antibiotic-resistant diseases are growing in number and prevalence each day. This provides the need for work into phage therapy, which will naturally progress at a much faster rate than pharmacueticals currently do- the presence of patent-sharing would be absolutely necessary in our current economic model to make this idea workable.

Now, I know in the past Kolzene has mentioned problems w/ grabbing attention for Technocracy Inc and in working ideas, but I have to wonder if they've managed to take these ideas into consideration. I'm also a bit curious about how that organization works, itself. Since it's founding in the 1920's (iirc), we've created the public-benefit corporation (sic) that would allow Tech Inc to work within the current system to promote an abundance in name, without being held to the confines of profit-motive. We've also seen the establishment of the RAND corporation, which does a great amount of research, studies, and lobbying to support new or emerging technologies, or try to. I doubt it's out of the realm of possibility to work with them to refine any models and promote a more advanced system.

Sorry if this comes off more as a rant than a structured, piognant article, but I'm just having one of those moments when a bunch of thoughts collide.
#14149690
Kolzene wrote:How do you mean, "taken these ideas into consideration"? Do you mean in their proposals for the design of the Technate? Or as some form of promotion?


Well, I hear about the continental hydrology and urbanates and whatnot, but the information seems to ignore trends such WalMart. I think if people saw the way new technology could be utilized to reduce labor, such as expanding the concept of the SuperCenter or how patent sharing, which would be a natural part of the technate, would prevent the impediment of medicine.

Kolzene wrote:Actually Technocracy Inc. won't work with other orgs simply because they have a strict policy against it. :hmm:


That sucks... :hmm:

Kolzene wrote:Also, I'm not sure what you mean by this: "we've created the public-benefit corporation (sic) that would allow Tech Inc to work within the current system to promote an abundance in name, without being held to the confines of profit-motive." As near as I can tell, a "public benefit corporation" is just a non-profit organization chartered by the state. Technocracy Inc. is already a non-profit, but is non-governmental. How would this help?


My mistake- I meant benefit corporation or something to that effect to try to put the building blocks of technocracy in place. For instance, to promote patent- and copyright-sharing; Monsanto is continually expanding it's patent holdings on genetic discoveries, and helping independent hobbyists allow for the information to be shared openly before they can get patents prevents them from holding back technological innovation and abundance.

Or, for that matter, combining local production of goods as a 3-D warehouses could cut labor through regions, while simultaneously allowing for the promotion of microgeneration and energy effecient housing.
#14153034
Kolzene wrote:Walmart is perhaps a bad example. It is talked about throughout Technocracy literature the benefits of centralization, and in the realm of distribution centers in particular, there is the "Unnecessary Activities" section of both the Technocracy Study Course and the TTCD, where we learn that under Technocracy's proposals, we'd need about 30 times less workers in the distribution field, and about 80 times less actual centers (using figures from 1986). About your other examples you mentioned before, you are right in that such things are under-represented in Technocracy literature, but they are all just modern examples of the basic principles already laid out sufficiently, so it would just be icing on the cake really.


I'm not sure "icing on the cake" is a good way of phrasing it. For instance, in the artical you link how abundance is being undermined isn't being clearly outlined. While it leads the reader through certain trends, holding up a scarcity economy though such methods as planned and percieved obsolecence, diseconomies of scale, tragedy of the commons, and other inneffeciencies such as the lack of a high-speed rail system (for instance, a vac-train), etc. allow people to recieve a firm grip on how we're kept in a scarcity economy; concrete examples such as that, or the expanse of the secondary and tertiary sectors to prop up employment, are some points that I know help me visualize how this happens. For instance, bringing up WalMart- we've seen how, over the course of my lifetime, technology has revolutionized distribution and the effects WalMart has on local communities/economies.

There's also the issue of facing preconcieved notions, as I'm sure you're aware of. Trying to convince austrians the Great Depression was caused by abundance rather than the Fed will be a hard sell, or for Keynesians and perhaps even for Fischer-Minsky types (pointing to deflation skyrocketing debt-to-GDP ratios and the Financial Instability Hypothesis). Certainly, those with preconcieved notions of what happened are less willing to listen fairly and intentively, and need more examples to ply to recognition of these points.

Kolzene wrote:New technology? What about old technology? You'd think that 16 hour work-weeks, with 2.5 months paid vacation a year, from ages 25-45, in any field you like (with full health and education benefits from birth to death) would be more than enough incentive to at least look at Technocracy (this is what was possible in the 1930s). Obviously we could do much better with today's technology, but again, it's icing on the cake. It's the system that needs to change, not the implementation of any specific technology/technologies.


I can't speak on 1930's technology, but another problem is that such an idea does seem "too good to be true". I remember seeing a TedTalk video recently on lying; most of us tend to tell very small lies, and a lot, for two reasons- one, being easier to not get caught, and two, we're naturally very skeptical. I don't think the idea that we could have such a good, easy life itself is offputting; however, how many times have you had to rehash basic arguments on this subforum?

Also, I think focusing on new technology really does help people get a firm grip on how the system works. For one, we're simply not in the 1930's; what's possible today is not merely icing on the cake, but rather makes what was possible then look like 70/30 by comparison. We've witnessed a man leap from space, have more processing power in our pocket than the Apollo Missions, and new gadgets that we only recently thought impossible. It's not just how much easier life could be, or wealthier, but how much further we could go as well.

Kolzene wrote:That sucks...

Yes. It's one of the many mistakes we hope to change with the Technocracy Katascopic Project.


Katascopic project? Sounds interesting, what's that? :)

Kolzene wrote:You can't put Technocracy into place piecemeal as you suggest. To try to do that would only cause the existing economy to falter more, and no one wants that, and thus wouldn't let it happen. Technocracy needs to be put in place all at once in order to minimize the problems that would occur otherwise. Yes, I realize this makes it harder to accept/promote, but there's no way around it I'm afraid. What's holding back the abundance is that fact that we are using a scarcity-based economy. If you try to create an abundance within one, well, we tried that in the 1920s and look what happened. So you have to get rid of the whole system first.


I dunno, there is single-payer healthcare in much of the world, and China's doing a damn good job of implementing new technologies. I understand there could be some associated problems with it ("WalMart" scenerios), but I doubt it'd turn people into luddites- the shockwaves of labor decompression (sic?) might be necessary to blast away the remants of a decayed system. To allow the corporate-political dynamic to continue unimpeded is conterproductive, in that we're so far behind what we could be and that we recognize the potential being destroyed by the sheer waste of our current system.
#14153615
Figlio di Moros wrote:I'm not sure who else here ventures into the technology subforum, but there is a recent thread about some new renovations in indoor farming. For instance, the use of red and blue LEDs stuck out to me. What struck me about this was the thought of the WalMart business model; superior logistics combined w/ one-stop shopping for mass products. With the emergence of 3-D printing in recent years as well, the thought of printing products at a warehouse/distribution center has been bandied about as well. While certain products, such as teas (I assume) and most meats, still need to be produces traditionally, this means the logical extension of a supercenter is not only centralized consumption, but production as well.


3-D printed meat is honestly rather close to fruition. It sounds like some far-distant sci-fi technology, but 3d printers will probably be able to print meat-products from spools of precursor materials before very much longer. It remains to be seen whether this will result in meals that people will actually eat, but from a technological standpoint that probably isn't very far off. I tend to suspect that the willingness to eat a printed meat product is inversely proportional to the time spent watching how it gets made.

Another dynamic I've had in my head for some time was car-printing. Car-shares already exist, but there are some prototypes which exist now that can't find the investment capital to scale up production to be competitive w/ existing companies. However, one model I remember looking at was a weird three-wheeled electric model that ran the equivolent of 100 mpg off a charged battery (which can be switched out, rather than recharged in vehicle) I remember reading about in '09.


Lots of companies actually do use 3d printing to create body panels and such for custom modifications. Printing structurally essential metal components, however, is still quite a ways from being commercially usable. You'll almost certainly see printed meat before you'll see a printed engine.

One more that needs to be considered are hospitals. We're currently reaching the limit of our capabilities w/ antibiotics, that antibiotic-resistant diseases are growing in number and prevalence each day. This provides the need for work into phage therapy, which will naturally progress at a much faster rate than pharmacueticals currently do- the presence of patent-sharing would be absolutely necessary in our current economic model to make this idea workable.


It's more likely that research will take us towards tailored viruses designed to target harmful bacteria. Either that or developing means to breed antibiotic susceptibility back into harmful bacteria before treatment.
#14155776
It's more likely that research will take us towards tailored viruses designed to target harmful bacteria


That would be dangerous, many diseases are actually made more dangerous due to the introduction of a prophage. For instance EH e. coli (the most deadly e. coli strain) produces Shia toxins which were introduced by a bacterial virus which transferred the genes into it from shigella.

Scarlet fever is caused by the introduction of a prophage into strep bacteria, and scalded skin syndrome is caused by a prophage interaction with staph.

As for the meat, such complex proteins aren't going to be "printable" for maybe 50 years, it's a technological hurdle higher than printing complex microcircuitry.
#14155810
Phage therapy procedes antibiotics, mikema, and has many benefits. Transmutation really isn't comparable in this, because bactiophages are a seperate form of virus to any human disease and because they destroy the germs. It also leaves most of your microbiome alone, unlike antiobiotics.
#14155915
Kolzene wrote:People please try to remember that this is not the Technology forum and keep on topic.


Isn't technology revelent to technocracy? :?:

Kolzene wrote:Ah, I see what you're getting at now. I was starting to think that you meant using these examples for the purpose of showing how Technocracy/technology could create abundance. But you are talking about using examples for showing how the current economy is sustained despite the trends working against it, is this right? Sure, I get that. We can and do use examples like that to show how the current economy is propped up (we often like to call it being on "life support", or at least some of us). Perhaps it is not as well mentioned or focused on as it could be, given how old most of the material is. I can see the opportunity for someone to write an article focusing on this.


Actually, both, I think. Both are equally important points for promoting post-scarcity, since most people are unfamilar with each. Particularly as Americans, we're indoctrinated with the idea that business begets excess, rather than promoting waste and scarcity; we're simultaneously taught that central planning "stunts and destroys" goods (holomodor). However, historic examples to the contrary, such as economic growth in the early Soviet union, the Chinese "tiger", or the urban planning of Russia compared to us seems to slip our minds.

Kolzene wrote:I have no problem talking about new technologies, but it depends on how you handle the topic. You have to be careful to not to convey the message that it is the individual technologies that are doing the help, but rather the properties of those technologies and how they are used. This is important because it can shift focus away from systems towards the individual technologies, which leads them away from what Technocracy actually is and does, and start to think that just by employing these techologies we can solve our problems. Let me give you an example. Many people are looking at GM foods to help with people going hungry. This is an individal technological fix to a problem. However, we know that food production is scarce not because of inherent flaws in the plants we use, but because of the economy. It must be kept scarce, otherwise prices would fall and the industry would fail. By using Technocracy, we can easily feed everyone in the continent very well with the plants we have, because we have removed the constraints of a scarcity economy. Using GM foods now will do nothing other than give biotech companies a lot of money and greater control.

Does this mean that GM foods would not be used in a Technate? Of course they could, if they indeed provide benefits and with no other problems. But saying that they would be used in the Technate distracts from the core issue. How would their use in a Technate help you or anyone else visualize how the economy currently strangles the agriculture industry?

So I am not saying that we cannot use modern (or future) technology examples to show how Technocracy could work, for as long as we avoid certain dangers in doing so. I have in fact written an entire article showing examples of the kinds of things we might see in a Technate given what we currently know: The Benefits of Urbanates.


That is a great point, the way technologies are implemented certainly are important. I suppose another example is microgeneration. Solar panels, geothermal, solar water heaters/vents, passive insulation- they've been around for a long time, but implementing them together and on a large scale can help turn houses from energy sinks to energy producers.

Kolzene wrote:Here's the info on it, and yes the FAQ isn't working right now, I can't seem to figure out why. But it's mostly rehashing the same information that's in the articles. If you have any questions of course let me know.


Thank you
#14156011
mikema63 wrote:That would be dangerous, many diseases are actually made more dangerous due to the introduction of a prophage.


A great deal of medicine can be dangerous under the right conditions. That does not mean that dangerous drugs and treatments are not developed. We'll scarcely have an alternative once we reach the end of the line on chemical antibiotics.

As for the meat, such complex proteins aren't going to be "printable" for maybe 50 years, it's a technological hurdle higher than printing complex microcircuitry.


The complexity of the polymer has never really been an issue with 3d printing; as long as it can be extruded at temperatures and rates the hot end supports. Well, its not very hard to imagine a version of this that prints meat-precursor that was produced industrially then spooled for delivery.
#14156060
People please try to remember that this is not the Technology forum and keep on topic.


My response is duly quelled forum master. :|

Does technocracy have any ideas floating around similar to the libertarian seasteading idea? If I remember there is a city in haul duras being built on libertarian ideological principles, why not try the same thing along technocratic lines?
#14156089
The problem, as I see it, is scale. Technically, any billionaire, on the individual scale, lives a life of abundance - it is nothing special or revolutionary. The goal of the Technate is to implement this scale of freedom from scarcity concerns on a massive scale, and I believe the original calculations were conducted for the North American continent. Such a narrow project may be feasible, but it wouldn't be fulfilling the purpose of the plan.
#14156151
If we're not ready to change our minds then we'll just have to wait and see what the current mode does.

But if we are ready to change our minds then it would be better to reaffirm natural systems than to simulate them with technology. That amounts to having a smaller population rather than an automated one. If you want abundance and ease it's because that's what we used to have back when we we're content to be nature's children, it is the discontent mind that produces this "progress." That doesn't lead to better organization - quite the opposite and capitalism is the current compromise because it anticipates a vicious state of mind.
#14156657
Paint me a better picture then. I don't think technocracy can offer what a wilderness can. I don't think automation makes life better.
#14156660
Kolzene wrote:It can be, but isn't automatically. The two topics overlap of course, but one is not a subset of the other. So it is possible to talk about either one without the other (although it would be harder to talk about Technocracy without discussing technology on some level).


I understand that, but discussing technology might bring more people in here as well. The Technology subforum does pretty well, and adding an additional layer of how different technologies could be integrated for an abundance could get more people in here to learn about Technocracy and to think of the possible. I think it could also add some new life into the concept, as well.

Kolzene wrote:That's right, but even that is not going far enough. One must consider the entire design of the Technate first in order to achieve the best results in efficiency. For example, Technocracy's proposals call for using Urbanates for at least the majority of housing, so you would not have houses on which to put these solar panels. Similarly, one could make far more efficient cars, but in the Urbanate scheme, they would be far less useful, and needed only for off-road travel, or recreation.


Perhaps, but that's a bit of a strange concept for most people to think of the full potential of an urbanate. Really, there's two problems, one being that fully integrated cities have not been built yet so they're difficult to imagine. The other is that so many cities already exist.

I think building on existing cities is a good start towards urbanates. Even going into it, you still have to transition from our current economy and current society. A good urban planning agency could help build far more effecient cities, centering the distribution center and central agencies as well as building the public transportation system and public housing to advance effeciency in pre-existing cities. 82% of the population already lives in cities, and you're not going to convince 8 million residents of New York to leave overnight.

Kolzene wrote:And right now, to the best of our knowledge, Technocracy would require a minimum of both Canada and the US together to make a successful Technate. Other areas of the world might qualify as well, but research similar to the original Energy Survey of North America would need to be done on those areas to know for sure.


I have a suspicion Bolivia would qualify. Ten million people, 82% urban w/ 2/3rds living in three cities and low overall population density. Extensive biosphere diversity for variable crop distribution, and 50-70% of Earth's estimated lithium reserves. Used to have a robust tin industry, but it declined last century (not sure if due to demand or exhaustion), is an oil exporter, and I'm not sure about the other resources. What they're missing is the infrastructure and human capital.
#14156785
It could be usefully as an example that many of the ideas were sound and it could stand as an example that even on the small scale a technocracy could be an improvement.

You won't get the US and Canada to simply institute technocracy out of the blue.
#14413848
"All this is aside from the unnecessary duplication that exists. One single store, for instance, could supply all the distribution services required by a population of 10,000, or so, with only a matter of a couple of dozen employees, whereas in actuality there were in 1929, 683,751 retail stores employing 3,081,000 people (including the proprietors) serving a population of 48,000,000 in all the cities of the United States of populations over 30,0001. This means that in the cities of over 30,000 in the United States there was at that time one retail store employing on the average 4 1/2 people full time for every 70 members of the population, or one employee in a retail store for every 15.5 members of the population."

https://archive.org/details/Technocracy ... Unabridged
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