The Zeitgeist movement video
#13
Lastly, I'd like to point out to JustAnotherRandomHuman that every single idea within the Zeitgeist movement is better represented in reality among academics and scientists. The problem with the movement is that it over-simplifies ideas that require deep consideration, and presents them under an ideological banner that has people like you defending the general movement and not any specific ideas. Moreover, many people who belong to the movement are promoting pseudoscientific ideas under the auspices of the Zeitgeist label (as you have hinted at in your first post), and your defense of the movement in general gives credence to these silly notions as well. I'd like to debate specific scientific ideas and solutions. Let's have that discussion.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#14
Hi JustAnotherRandomHuman,

As I was reading your reply, I found several points of contention. However, Ajita has already raised them directly and indirectly. Instead, let me ask you a few questions. But first, a few points.

Quote:what gives money its value in our system? If I remember correctly, it is gold bullion kept by the government. What that means is, the gold that's kept in some vault somewhere, is what gives money its value. I have had to study economics and commerce for 5 years and I still don't understand the concept - gold is a metal, yes it is scarce, there isn't much of it; but why should it give value to money? Nobody has given me a satisfactory answer to that question to date. Nobody really understands the system for what (I, and a lot of others think) it is - completely arbitrary. If we say the gold has no value, what then?

Money is not backed by gold bullion. This is what used to be done around the time of the World Wars, but is no longer the system used. The system isn't arbitrary at all. It is guided by some fundamental observations of resource allocation.

As I watched the Zeitgeist movies, I was appalled at the levels of misrepresentation and falsehood they were promoting. In fact, go through it entirely here: http://conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/ Specifically, read through Part Three of the first movie, and the second movie entirely.

Anyway, I could not find a good online resource to explain the current monetary system, so if you can get visit a library in your city/town, please pick up an Introductory Economics book and read the chapters that deal with Money Supply (I recommend Principles of Economics by Karl Case and Ray Fair - Pearson). So you know, the monetary system is something that every economics student is taught formally, so it isn't really rocket science.

Quote:'Nonsensical normative claims'? Uhh....never mind. Hope my post has changed your outlook on TZM/TVP somewhat.

Au contraire, mon amis, it has only strengthened my view that the Zeitgeist movement doesn't have viable solutions to the issues it raises. Biggrin

Now coming to the point about "technology solves everything", which is the idea that is more or less being propagated by TZM (correct me if this is a Straw Man). This sort of technological determinism remains silent on how it will deal with the immense intricacies and complexities in the society. Several questions come to mind. The questions are genuine and not rhetorical. If the Venus Project is successful:

1. What incentives will there be for someone to work over just enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor?

2. What incentives will one have to conserve resources?

3. What incentives will anyone have to innovate?

4. Today, the pricing system (along with the industry profit indicators) acts as an information mechanism which indicates what scarcity exists in which region (note that I do not condone some of the profit maximising behavior that firms employ). What mechanism will exist if money and hence profits are abolished to facilitate resource allocation?

These are only a few questions that come to mind w.r.t the tech determinism TZM propagates. The social and behavioral aspects of individuals inspire many more questions.

Do read through the link I provided above. It is important that you do. After that do explain - on a personal note - how could you trust TZM even though its starting point for you was nothing but a bunch of lies?

Cheers. smile
[+] 1 user Likes siddharth's post
Reply
#15
(27-Jul-2010, 06:56 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:Little consideration for reality? I find it hard to believe that you have actually _read_ anything about the movement - did you do ANYTHING to find out more about TZM/TVP, other than watching the video posted in this thread? No offence intended, and you don't need to respond to that; this is just the impression I got from reading your post.

Well, you posed the rhetorical question, and despite your statement that no response is necessary, I feel the need to point out that I clearly expressed that I don't know enough details about the Zeitgeist movement. No offence is taken, because you are being unnecessarily hyperbolic.

Okay...? I wasn't trying to be hyperbolic - that is exactly the way I talk in real life.

(27-Jul-2010, 06:56 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:If you're willing to spend the time necessary, which I highly doubt you would be, you can go through the 'Movement Orientation Guide' here:

You seem to be projecting onto me your own tendency for confirmation bias, even before I have had a chance to respond to your comments. I like to talk about ideas, not about people, but only until someone makes suggestive baseless accusations against me. I have read the links you posted and I still have the a shitload of issues with it. But instead of wildly throwing around generalities like I did about ideas (and you did, about me) before, I'll respond to your statements alone.

Uh huh. I find the first sentence there to be unnecessarily hyperbolic, I was simply stating my belief that it was unlikely you would spend time to read through all the stuff I've read through. So you read through the whole manual, did you? Okay, good...

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: This is a response to JustAnotherRandomHuman's next two posts. The first post contains general ideas that very few people here would disagree with. These are the issues that, as I stated above, are legitimate concerns. However, as you will see below, the general understanding of these ideas is used to make some pretty redundant claims that inform the majority of my criticism of the Zeitgeist movement. First, the general stuff that everyone agrees about.

Quote:What matters is that he came up with the idea that if 'the scientific method and the judicious use of available resources' was used to find solutions to modern problems without any monetary constraints, each and every human being on the planet would have a higher standard of living than the rich, so-called upper class of today

This is a re-telling of a much older idea. Jaque Fresco did not come up with it, but thanks to him these ideas have been appropriated by the Zeitgeist movement.

Really? I didn't know that. Who came up with it then...? Oh, it's not like I care. Doesn't matter who came up with an idea or who didn't. What's important to me is the idea itself.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:What that means in plain English is, on one hand, we have a huge number of social/economic/environmental problems like pollution, poverty, unemployment, disease, famine, floods, natural disasters, crime, war, etc. - and on the other, we have resources like solar, wind, and tidal energy, naturally occurring materials, like metals, and so on; and the _technology_ to use these resources to provide food, shelter, education, and a sustainable means of providing for everyone.

I agree, but these are elementary observations.

How do I know that you know all these things? Of course they are elementary observations, but when starting a discussion it's better everyone is on the same page. Bear with me for trying to be thorough.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:So why don't we use the resources that we have to provide for ourselves in a sustainable way? Because the people in power are not interested in doing anything of the sort - partly due to ignorance; but mostly for fear of changing the status quo, losing their power, and losing their 'profits'.

Again, agreed but elementary.

Quote:It's because we are all part of a system - the monetary system - and that system is based on all resources being scarce; value being assigned to those resources based on how many people want it and what value THEY ascribe to it; people who 'own' these resources controlling the supply of these resources and thereby the value (price), and 'consumers' exchanging tokens of value (money) that the system has decided can be used to 'purchase' these goods and services.

Ditto, but when are we going to get to the Zeitgeist movement?

I think it's obvious that you have to read the entirety of a person's posts before responding, this is a redundant question as it will be answered when you finish reading.
Reply
#16
(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:An easy way to explain this would be to take the example of something that's readily available everywhere, like air, and constrast it with something that's readily available in one place but not in another - water. Nobody can sell you air, you just won't buy it - because you can get as much as you want, when you want it. If you stay somewhere near a large body of fresh, drinkable water, perhaps a lake - you'll scoff at someone who tries to sell you water. But if you stay in a desert, and there's no water for a thousand miles in any direction, water suddenly becomes a precious commodity, and you tend to ascribe MUCH more value to it than if you were a freshwater fisherman.

Yes, I don't think anyone here is clueless about how supply and demand works. How does this matter to the Zeitgeist movement?

When talking about a movement trying to bring about social revolution, is it really so surprising to talk about demand and supply? And what's wrong if it's 'elementary'? There may be people who don't know of it, people who are not members of this forum but somehow come across this thread anyway - ever thought of that? smile

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:The whole monetary system is based on resources being perpetually scarce - so people tend to ascribe more value to it than they would if they could get it easily.

Of course.

Quote:To dip our toes into the vast ocean that is 'Economics' - let me ask you this - what gives money its value in our system? If I remember correctly, it is gold bullion kept by the government. What that means is, the gold that's kept in some vault somewhere, is what gives money its value. I have had to study economics and commerce for 5 years and I still don't understand the concept - gold is a metal, yes it is scarce, there isn't much of it; but why should it give value to money? Nobody has given me a satisfactory answer to that question to date. Nobody really understands the system for what (I, and a lot of others think) it is - completely arbitrary. If we say the gold has no value, what then?

The points you have raised thus far are all so elementary that I have to presume that some sort of major revelation is afoot. Of course money doesn't have any inherent value. Any economist, even a lassiez-faire capitalist, would agree. I think you are insulting the intelligence of most people when you say "Nobody really understands the system for what (I, and a lot of others think) it is - completely arbitrary.".

I'm not just talking to the two other people who have posted here, I'm talking to everyone who might read my posts. That's the way I talk when I post something on the internet. I suggest you stop taking offence at such silly things. 'Insulting people's intelligence', hah. Most people don't care and definitely do NOT understand economics. Maybe we come from different backgrounds entirely - most people I come across and interact with in day-to-day life don't know squat about this, and could care even less.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:With modern advances in computing, science, medicine, methods of construction, and the proliferation of comparatively cheap internet, there are a myriad unprecedented possibilities that have opened up to us.

Many social thinkers and futurists write about the coming technological revolution. So have I.

Great! What's your point, since many social thinkers and futurists (and you) have written about it, I should refrain from doing so? If not, what? :P

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:I am a person who used to watch the Discovery channel and National Geographic when I was young; I stopped watching TV after I got into college; but the interest in popular science never died down in me.

Pretty much everyone here falls into this category.

Quote:I keep up with current developments in the world of technology as best I can, and what I have seen gives me the impression that if _ALL_ these new technologies were applied _everywhere_, ALL over the world, without the constraints of the monetary system (giving to the 'haves' because of their purchasing power and leaving the 'have-nots' without anything because of their lack of it), the average standard of living would go up a thousand-fold. I don't really need to explain HOW exactly technology can solve our problems, do I?

Actually, yes you do.

Sorry, I am a person interested in popular science but am no scientist myself. I studied commerce, and then started working in a totally unrelated industry altogether. I have no way of explaining the science behind modern technology, and how it might solve our problems, to you. I suggest google if you want to find out more.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: This is where the whole thing falls apart and becomes an ideological political movement.

Of course, many people would agree that if "_ALL_ these new technologies were applied _everywhere_, ALL over the world, without the constraints of the monetary system" things would be peachy. Most folks also agree that technology can solve our problems. If you notice, we are completely in support of science around here, and I have written elsewhere about my philosophy regarding the use of technology to solve the world's problems. On my facebook profile my "political views" are listed as "Social liberal, posthumanist, post resource-based society". The reason these are tough political questions is that in reality there are innumerable confounding factors that need to be taken into consideration in order to realize such political ideas. The devil is in the details.

Of course.
Reply
#17
(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:The way it is now, there is no centralized repository of information which everyone has access to; it's all scattered, different sources give conflicting information, data is frequently unreliable due to unscientific methods of collection and peoples' prejudices, and if you want access to it, you have to have the necessary purchasing power, and the time to sort through the bullshit and falsehood that is inherent in the monetary system - everyone's trying to make a living, and you have to check and double-check if what you are being told is the truth, and ponder if there may be any ulterior motives for people giving you the information you've bought. (Edit: I hope you can understand what I'm trying to say in this paragraph, I just don't know how to explain this any more clearly, I'm really sorry....it's past 3 A.M. now and I am half asleep)

What you are talking about is a problem that is well recognized by many people around the world, including myself. There's nothing too complicated here to understand, so don't worry about me getting all confused. There is an entire area of study into the creation, flow and distribution of information. Again, this is not something that is new or revealing.

I don't think I have ever read anything, ever come across even a single article that's remotely related to what I was talking about. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:Again, to explain with an example, lets take the problem of the shortage of power. Our 'modern' lives are fuelled by electricity, which is currently generated by burning fossil fuels (for the most part). What if there were no restrictions, no unnecessary politics-based regulations, no prices to worry about?

Lets suppose that having a system where "no restrictions, no unnecessary politics-based regulations, no prices to worry about" would be possible. This is still just a general direction, one that is already understood by social scientists and theoreticians who devote their entire lives to the scientific study of such problems (under more realistic socio-political models that don't attempt to build their scientific ideas into popular movements that tend not to solve any real problems). It is the scientists who are really doing the heavy-lifting, while the Zeitgeist movement can be at best applauded for bringing about a receptive atmosphere for their scientific ideas to be realized.

And can you give me any examples of these social scientists and theoreticians and links where I can read up on their work? I'd like to see all that measures up against TZM/TVP.

I'd also like to know how a few scientists working on their own on these 'socio-political models' you're talking about, would bring about real social change. Really, how would they go about it? Write a letter to the president saying 'here's another way of doing things around here'? Or let as many people know about it as possible?

By saying 'popular movements that tend not to solve any real problems' I get the impression you're talking about TZM - what is the basis for you saying that? TZM is trying to raise awareness at this stage. How can any problems possibly be solved by a handful of people spread out all over the world? What power would they have, and what problems would individuals who are a part the monetary system solve?

What the scientists are doing is solving problems, yes, that's what they're good at. But if nobody knows about it, how would they implement this within the monetary system? Social change has to include everyone, not just a select few. If the only people who are encouraged to think about this stuff are people who have made it their lives and their professions, nothing will ever change; everyone will remain trapped in the monetary system. Without awareness, there will never be any real change. Your posts give me the impression you don't understand that.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:We have the technology, TODAY, to generate enough power to meet AND exceed our current (and even projected future) demand for electricity. All that's holding us back is profit/cost considerations. It's just 'too expensive' to use renewable energy. Really? I say BULLSHIT.)

You can say the same thing about food production worldwide. I have touched on these issues many times (for example, see here, here and here. There are many who agree on this point that the current political model of globalization fails on many levels. In fact, it is indisputable that the desire for profit has skewed the production and distribution of essential goods, thereby increasing disparity worldwide. But this is a problem that has a flip side to it. Centralized models of resource distribution depend of cooperation alone. The system of organization that you're against is based on competition. In order for a political system to be effective, it must incorporate both these aspects of our inherent 'humanness' in order to provide the impetus for social, political and economic progress. The Zeitgeist movement simply ignores certain realities, which is understandable given the confirmation bias inherent in the ideological appeal of such pop-culture ideas.

I'm getting the impression you didn't really read those links I posted - they address each and every point you're putting forth. The term 'Humanness' and our desi 'we are like this only' is just a way for us to give up and say 'we can't change, things like competition and other negative qualities are an inherent part of being human'. The truth is we are all products of circumstance, we are the sum of the experiences that we have accumulated. What TZM aims to achieve is to remove the part of the system that causes these negative qualities to develop. If humans didn't have to cut each others' throats to survive, we would be a lot more free to pursue our real interests, do what we want to do; and we would find that cooperation really IS in our best interest. I say with no attempt at irony - you're getting caught up in the details, and you're not giving any concrete reasons why it CANNOT work. And I'm being as specific as I can be.
Reply
#18
(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:the application of the scientific method and modern technology in using available resources to provide a truly 'green', sustainable existence for all of humanity.

The application of science and technology requires complex thinking on many specific issues, using models and ideas that can be tested, found wanting, and tested again, till the most successful ones are determined for each issue.

This is exactly what TZM is trying to do. Just because I personally am not able to explain how exactly it plans to solve these problems doesn't mean other members can't, either. Again, this is spelled out very clearly all over those websites that I gave you the links for.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: It does not involve lumping together all our desires under one label and pretending that it is the answer to all our problems.

Of course it does not. Nobody is doing that here.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: I do identify with the need for a conversation on the subject, but the conversation is always going on in scientific circles. The Zeitgeist movement is a pop-culture phenomenon, no doubt with some pretty powerful ideas, all of which are understood in more detail and with more clarity by the scientists and sociologists working on them. This is why I said:

Quote:But I should say that, unlike the teabagger movement, many of the concerns of the Zeitgeist movement are legitimate. In fact, I think that the movement might do some good in the long run by creating a socio-economic and political climate where some of the ecological devastation of the planet can be rolled back over the next century or so. But if this happens, the Zeitgeist movement would only function as some sort of inspiring cheer-leading squad, standing on the sidelines and rooting for those doing the real intellectual heavy-lifting when it comes to solving the problems of the world.

Again, as I said earlier, if social change is to be achieved, EVERYONE needs to know about it - not just scientists. Cheer-leading squad, hah. You seem to really underestimate the importance of raising awareness. Every person can contribute in some small way - you never know how. You are doing something of value when you let people know about these things, when you get them to think about these issues.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:48 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:The scientific method, which has given us modern technology, is a flawed way of trying to solve problems? Sorry. I have to say you are dead wrong;

This is a logical fallacy know as the straw man argument. No, I don't think that the scientific method is "flawed".

And this is what is called 'quoting out of context', please read the part immediately after that last semicolon that you seem to have inadvertently left out of your quote -

Quote:...and at this point in time I assume that's because you don't know about TZM/TVP.

It was definitely not a straw man argument. Please read posts in their entirety before jumping to conclusions and answering right away.

(27-Jul-2010, 07:48 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:And really, nobody is talking about one simple formula as an answer to everything.

Actually, yes they are. The Zeitgeist movement is a study in oversimplification. It offers simple-minded folk a simplistic sounding solution to all their problems, when in reality the folk doing the problem-solving in the universities and activism at the grass-roots have a more complete understanding of the problems of the world.

I really don't understand what's wrong with simplifying things so that people who are otherwise occupied, with real jobs, trying to earn a living, can understand what you're trying to say a little more easily, a little faster, than if you had written it for experienced scientists and scholars to read. And of course the people who are actually working on these problems will have a more complete understanding of the problems of the world. I thought that's obvious.

I get the impression you're trying to say something along the lines of - if you don't have a concrete understanding of EVERY SINGLE THING in the movement, even though you have more important things you have to take care of in your life, you should stay out of the discussion? If that isn't what you're trying to say, please let me know. I just can't think of anything else you're trying to imply.

(27-Jul-2010, 08:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Lastly, I'd like to point out to JustAnotherRandomHuman that every single idea within the Zeitgeist movement is better represented in reality among academics and scientists. The problem with the movement is that it over-simplifies ideas that require deep consideration, and presents them under an ideological banner that has people like you defending the general movement and not any specific ideas.

The devil is in the details, indeed. Sorry but most of us are not scholars and/or scientists used to pondering and debating about things like this - but we share a genuine concern for the planet and our fellow human beings and would like to help out in any way we can, when we're not otherwise occupied, living our lives. If you find it tough to 'come down to our level', so to speak; I guess there is nothing more to discuss.

(27-Jul-2010, 08:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Moreover, many people who belong to the movement are promoting pseudoscientific ideas under the auspices of the Zeitgeist label (as you have hinted at in your first post), and your defense of the movement in general gives credence to these silly notions as well.

I defend the Venus Project, which is a part of the Zeitgeist movement. And I'd like to know what 'pseudoscientific ideas' people are promoting.

(27-Jul-2010, 08:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: I'd like to debate specific scientific ideas and solutions. Let's have that discussion.

Sorry, I'm no scientist. Just another random human. ;)
Reply
#19
(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: Hi JustAnotherRandomHuman,

As I was reading your reply, I found several points of contention. However, Ajita has already raised them directly and indirectly. Instead, let me ask you a few questions. But

first, a few points.

Quote:what gives money its value in our system? If I remember correctly, it is gold bullion kept by the government. What that means is, the gold that's kept in some vault

somewhere, is what gives money its value. I have had to study economics and commerce for 5 years and I still don't understand the concept - gold is a metal, yes it is scarce,

there isn't much of it; but why should it give value to money? Nobody has given me a satisfactory answer to that question to date. Nobody really understands the system for what

(I, and a lot of others think) it is - completely arbitrary. If we say the gold has no value, what then?

Money is not backed by gold bullion. This is what used to be done around the time of the World Wars, but is no longer the system used. The system isn't arbitrary at all. It is

guided by some fundamental observations of resource allocation.

It is arbitrary in the sense that the monetary basis has no connection to any physical science; it is just a system invented by humans to organize society. There are shortcomings with that system, and TZM aims to remove those problems. How it aims to do so is by the application of the scientific method TO EVERY problem we face, both needs that are not being met, as well as social problems.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: As I watched the Zeitgeist movies, I was appalled at the levels of misrepresentation and falsehood they were promoting. In fact, go through it entirely here:

http://conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/ Specifically, read through Part Three of the first movie, and the second movie entirely.

Thank you, I will read through it; I am at work and I've already taken too much time off as of now. I've bookmarked that link and will go through it and get back to you.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: Anyway, I could not find a good online resource to explain the current monetary system, so if you can get visit a library in your city/town, please pick up an Introductory

Economics book and read the chapters that deal with Money Supply (I recommend Principles of Economics by Karl Case and Ray Fair - Pearson). So you know, the monetary system is

something that every economics student is taught formally, so it isn't really rocket science.

Read my response above.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote:
Quote:'Nonsensical normative claims'? Uhh....never mind. Hope my post has changed your outlook on TZM/TVP somewhat.

Au contraire, mon amis, it has only strengthened my view that the Zeitgeist movement doesn't have viable solutions to the issues it raises. :biggrin:

Now coming to the point about "technology solves everything", which is the idea that is more or less being propagated by TZM (correct me if this is a Straw Man).

I'm afraid it is; as I've said many times already, it is the 'scientific method' - which means proposing different solutions and examining the validity of those solutions through experimentation - that TZM is trying to propagate, instead of profit/power motives which corporations/governments first look at before taking ANY action.
Reply
#20
(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: This sort of technological determinism remains silent on how it will deal with the immense intricacies and complexities in the society. Several questions come to mind. The questions are genuine and not rhetorical. If the Venus Project is successful:

1. What incentives will there be for someone to work over just enjoying the fruits of someone else's labor?

People will be free to do what they want, to pursue their own interests. The fruits of one person's labor will be available to everyone all over the world. The requirement for 'work' as it exists today will go down due to intelligently designed cities. _Positive_ competition will be encouraged, where people work to improve themselves and the planet they live on.

If what I'm saying sounds far-fetched to you, imagine this. If you get clean food, air, and water, and have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want to, do whatever you want to, would you spend ALL your time doing things you want to do for your own enjoyment, or would you spend at least a bit of time trying to work on problems that you come across? If you're getting everything you need, wouldn't you feel the need to give back a little? I personally would, and I would like to believe that given the above conditions, most other people would, too.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: 2. What incentives will one have to conserve resources?

What incentive will one have to use more than what is necessary, if you can get what you want when you want it? The system will be designed in a manner that wastage is cut down to an absolute minimum. Which will never be the case in the monetary system.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: 3. What incentives will anyone have to innovate?

Would you be satisfied with what you have, even if you have everything you want? Human desire is endless; the tendency of people to improve themselves and the things around them can only be brought out when they are free from the constraints of the monetary system, when they don't have to worry about what they're going to do for food and water the next day.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: 4. Today, the pricing system (along with the industry profit indicators) acts as an information mechanism which indicates what scarcity exists in which region (note that I do

not condone some of the profit maximising behavior that firms employ). What mechanism will exist if money and hence profits are abolished to facilitate resource allocation?

There are enough resources on this planet to support each and every one of us on it, and this will be the case for years to come. We just aren't utilizing everything we have efficiently. In a resource based economy the available resources will be taken into account, the requirements considered, and they will be distributed based on who needs what and when.

Another related point: Goods today are made with planned obsolescence in mind - this will not be the case in a resource based economy, everything will be built to last; and no resource will be left idle. Wastage will be minimised by using resources in every way they can be used, maintained when necessary, and recycled when it would be easier to scrap the whole thing and make new one. Automation will be introduced wherever possible.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: These are only a few questions that come to mind w.r.t the tech determinism TZM propagates. The social and behavioral aspects of individuals inspire many more questions.

Social and behavioural aspects of individuals - this changes according to the society we live in. I too wonder about what it might be like to live in a resource based society. Please let me know any questions that you can think of; if I have the answers, I will let you know.

(27-Jul-2010, 04:11 PM)siddharth Wrote: Do read through the link I provided above. It is important that you do. After that do explain - on a personal note - how could you trust TZM even though its starting point for

you was nothing but a bunch of lies?

Give me some time, I will definitely do it. Gotta get back to work now.

Thank you. smile
Reply
#21
Quote:Sorry, I am a person interested in popular science but am no scientist myself. I studied commerce, and then started working in a totally unrelated industry altogether. I have no way of explaining the science behind modern technology, and how it might solve our problems, to you. I suggest google if you want to find out more

This actually explains more about your ideological leanings than anything else. You seemed to have also missed the point I was making. I'm not the one claiming that the Zeitgeist movement can offer solutions to real problems. You are. My point is that you stop talking exactly where the real work begins. The point is not to know each and every solution (which is why your "go google it" comment is meaningless), but to get to root of what the Zeitgeist movement is saying in real terms, not just ideological ones.

Quote:I don't think I have ever read anything, ever come across even a single article that's remotely related to what I was talking about. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

Did you read my articles that I linked to? Have you read any transhumanist or modern sociology theory or philosophy at all? You repeat the above claim a few times and I'm just pointing to this one to make the point. The fact that you have not read a single article related to the stuff that you are talking about is redundant. It inly points to your failures. But I see a pattern emerging here. Because of the fact that you are defending a sloppy and multi-faceted ideology, you are resorting to common tactics used by conspiracy theorists, drawing in red-herrings and making wild accusations. The specific form of fallacy here is the argument from ignorance. But just to establish credibility, let me answer you briefly.

Quote:And can you give me any examples of these social scientists and theoreticians and links where I can read up on their work? I'd like to see all that measures up against TZM/TVP.

ALL social scientists and theoreticians are working on the problems that need to be solved. The problem with you is that because you subscribe to the idea that overall change can be brought about only by top-down action, you are missing the real work that is being done. Read the complexity series of article by Dr. Vinod Wadhawan here. Specifically, look at this article: http://nirmukta.com/2010/02/26/complexit...omplexity/ . Also read the article on evolution of intelligence, and the section on how the organization of large groups of intelligent beings creates emergent systems of intelligence. If you have time, read up on modern organizational theory. I recommend a book called The Anthropology of Organizations. these are all the mode flashy and general ideas. Specifically, scientists around the world are working on the problems that need to be solved.

The rest of your comments on this post are indicative of the fact that you are still misguided about how scientific advancement creates progress, and how political movements are organized. When you say:

Quote:I'd also like to know how a few scientists working on their own on these 'socio-political models' you're talking about, would bring about real social change. Really, how would they go about it? Write a letter to the president saying 'here's another way of doing things around here'? Or let as many people know about it as possible?

There are indeed many social scientists working on the problems of our time. Many have done so in the past. It is a fallacy to think that these scientists work in isolation. If that's what you think of the scientific process, you need to know more than you think you do before you can challenge my assertions. Science is a self-correcting process that requires the efforts of other scientists in tearing down existing theories and ideas. How do you think we have achieved so much progress as a society over the years? Of course, we can all point to problems that we still have in society, but an objective view clearly demonstrates the success that science has had over the years.

Quote:What the scientists are doing is solving problems, yes, that's what they're good at. But if nobody knows about it, how would they implement this within the monetary system? Social change has to include everyone, not just a select few. If the only people who are encouraged to think about this stuff are people who have made it their lives and their professions, nothing will ever change; everyone will remain trapped in the monetary system. Without awareness, there will never be any real change. Your posts give me the impression you don't understand that.

This is where the simplistic thinking of the Zeitgeist movement affects you. The way the scientific enterprise works is through a process of merit-based recognition. This system of peer-review and development is absolutely essential to the process. Social change is a great thing, but it is an ideologically motivated political process. Your accusation that I don't understand the role of awareness is made redundant considering that I actually pointed you to three articles that I wrote in which I have addressed many of the concerns that you raised. Yet you keep supporting your ideology and accusing others of not understanding the need for a wide-ranging socio-political and ideological movement that doesn't present any real solutions. Which brings me to this:

Quote:I'm getting the impression you didn't really read those links I posted - they address each and every point you're putting forth.

Please be specific. I have. You, on the other hand, have not read my links, as apparent by your assertion above that you have never "come across even a single article that's remotely related to what I was talking about."

Quote:The term 'Humanness' and our desi 'we are like this only' is just a way for us to give up and say 'we can't change, things like competition and other negative qualities are an inherent part of being human'.

Wrong. In the context that I used the word "humanness", it is apparent that I refer to traits that are part of our biological make-up. This is very different from a colloquial fatalism, which is what you are referring to (a philosopher would say).

Quote:I say with no attempt at irony - you're getting caught up in the details, and you're not giving any concrete reasons why it CANNOT work. And I'm being as specific as I can be.

Why WHAT cannot work? The problem is that you think you have provided a masterplan for something profound, while all you have done is ignore everything that we know about how societies operate in order to make room for your preferred model of reality.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#22
(27-Jul-2010, 10:03 PM)JustAnotherRandomHuman Wrote:
(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: The application of science and technology requires complex thinking on many specific issues, using models and ideas that can be tested, found wanting, and tested again, till the most successful ones are determined for each issue.

This is exactly what TZM is trying to do. Just because I personally am not able to explain how exactly it plans to solve these problems doesn't mean other members can't, either. Again, this is spelled out very clearly all over those websites that I gave you the links for.

So you're saying that the Zeitgeist movement works the way science works? Excellent, let's see some peer-reviewed articles on it in scientific journals. I've read all the links you point out and see nothing close to how science works in the way the movement is being organized.

Quote:
(27-Jul-2010, 07:44 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: It does not involve lumping together all our desires under one label and pretending that it is the answer to all our problems.

Of course it does not. Nobody is doing that here.

I beg to differ. That is precisely the idea behind the movement. A sort of 'theory of everything' as far as figuring out problems to social problems are concerned, except it is a non-scientific idea that is based on ideology and pop-culture, and is in reality far from all-encompassing.

Quote:Cheer-leading squad, hah. You seem to really underestimate the importance of raising awareness. Every person can contribute in some small way - you never know how. You are doing something of value when you let people know about these things, when you get them to think about these issues.

On the contrary, I am well aware of the need for raising awareness, as is apparent by the fact that you are discussing this stuff on a website that I founded to raise awareness, led here from a facebook page that I founded to raise awareness. The problem is that you are confusing raising awareness (on real issues) with promoting a simplistic "fix-all" that reeks of confirmation bias and is based on a poor understanding of how human societies work in reality.

Quote:
(27-Jul-2010, 07:48 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:The scientific method, which has given us modern technology, is a flawed way of trying to solve problems? Sorry. I have to say you are dead wrong;

This is a logical fallacy know as the straw man argument. No, I don't think that the scientific method is "flawed".

And this is what is called 'quoting out of context', please read the part immediately after that last semicolon that you seem to have inadvertently left out of your quote -


Quote:...and at this point in time I assume that's because you don't know about TZM/TVP.

It was definitely not a straw man argument. Please read posts in their entirety before jumping to conclusions and answering right away.

You continue to make the straw man argument, despite the fact that I have clearly stated that I do not think that the scientific method is flawed, while insisting that you are not making it. There is no jumping to conclusions necessary. Moreover, you are being disingenuous in your defense of your straw man argument. Therefore you are using a dishonest diversion to cover up your first fallacy. Let's analyze what you said:

Quote:The scientific method, which has given us modern technology, is a flawed way of trying to solve problems? Sorry. I have to say you are dead wrong; and at this point in time I assume that's because you don't know about TZM/TVP. And really, nobody is talking about one simple formula as an answer to everything.

So you clearly state that I think that the scientific method is a flawed way of solving problems. Then in your defense of my accusation that this is a straw man (and after I clearly and explicitly state that I do not think that the scientific method is flawed) you say that I took your words your of context. Here is what you wrote after the semi-colon: "and at this point in time I assume that's because you don't know about TZM/TVP. And really, nobody is talking about one simple formula as an answer to everything." How the hell does this not make your assertion that I think that the scientific method is flawed a straw man? Your assertion was taken completely in context and represented for what it means, and then dismissed as a straw man fallacy. You take this fallacy and build another one on top of it by claiming that I took it out of context and that the complete paragraph explains this context. It doesn't, as you should no doubt realize if you are intellectually honest. Two fallacies don't make a right.

Quote:
(27-Jul-2010, 07:48 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:And really, nobody is talking about one simple formula as an answer to everything.

Actually, yes they are. The Zeitgeist movement is a study in oversimplification. It offers simple-minded folk a simplistic sounding solution to all their problems, when in reality the folk doing the problem-solving in the universities and activism at the grass-roots have a more complete understanding of the problems of the world.

I really don't understand what's wrong with simplifying things so that people who are otherwise occupied, with real jobs, trying to earn a living, can understand what you're trying to say a little more easily, a little faster, than if you had written it for experienced scientists and scholars to read.

So, I point to your claim that nobody is oversimplifying things and say that the Zeitgeist movement does just this, to which you respond by contradicting yourself. Which is it?

Quote:I get the impression you're trying to say something along the lines of - if you don't have a concrete understanding of EVERY SINGLE THING in the movement, even though you have more important things you have to take care of in your life, you should stay out of the discussion? If that isn't what you're trying to say, please let me know. I just can't think of anything else you're trying to imply.

No, that is not at all what I am saying. As I have clearly pointed out, the Zeitgeist movement is built on a recognition of real problems, which is the part that you keep focusing on. My problem is that this is a redundant step when it comes to actual problem solving, because the understanding of all these problems already exist in academia, and there are scientists, philosophers and socialogists are discussing them and working on them. What I am trying to say is that you see the problems that many academics are already working on and think that simply the recognition of these problems and the desire to solve them can bring about actual change, going beyond simply creating the necessary socio-political conditions needed for such change. Again, I have said multiple times that creating the necessary conditions (partly by raising awareness) is something that the movement can potentially do, which is why your constant assertions that I am unaware of the role of awareness is misplaced. I have clearly expressed the role of awareness in my previous posts here. The problem is that you are confusing awareness with real solutions that come about through the scientific process.

Your entire criticism of my arguments seems to be founded on a misunderstanding of what my issues are with the Zeitgeist movement. In the first comment (to which you responded) I clearly say that I think there could be some benefit in terms of creating favorable socio-political conditions for scientific ideas to gain acceptance gained by such popular movements, but that the real change comes from the scientists, philosophers and academics working on real solutions and alternatives. You are not really disputing this. In essence, your entire argument is a straw man.

Quote:
(27-Jul-2010, 08:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: Moreover, many people who belong to the movement are promoting pseudoscientific ideas under the auspices of the Zeitgeist label (as you have hinted at in your first post), and your defense of the movement in general gives credence to these silly notions as well.

I defend the Venus Project, which is a part of the Zeitgeist movement. And I'd like to know what 'pseudoscientific ideas' people are promoting.)

This thread is about the Zeitgeist movement, and you did not just defend the Venus Project. You posted 4 links to the Zeitgeist project, and specifically mentioned the movement. In any case, you are cherry picking. The criticism here is about the Zeitgeist movement. If you want to discuss a specific part of the movement, that should be specifically mentioned, and there should not be any defense of the larger movement. You cannot have it both ways, switching to defend a more restrictive idea when asked to hold up your standards.

As for the pseudoscience, the website that Sid pointed to lays them out very clearly. Did you check out the articles? I stand by the claim that your defense of the Zeitgeist movement lends credence to the pseudoscience that is part of this movement.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#23
Just two questions for JustAnotherRandomHuman to answer:

1. Do you believe that 9/11 was an inside job?

2. Do you really believe that the economic system of the world is actively controlled by groups of powerful individuals, and that the world is run by these groups?

More specific questions to come.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#24
Two points, to keep things simple:

1. The movement is an ideological and socio-political one, and is not founded on the scientific method, even as it attempts to co-opt the advances and innovations of science. All it can do is "create awareness", as you say, but even this awareness can play into a flawed perception of reality because of the lack of intellectual rigor in the overall ideology. But this is still OK, as long as the movement remains an ideological movement and doesn't pretend to be a science.

2. There is plenty of pseudoscience in the movement and there are many pseudoscientific ideas that are actively associated with the members of the movement. These pseudoscientific ideas are only growing, as is expected of any wide-reaching ideology that is not based on science (as happens with religious ideologies). The defense of the entire movement offers a cover to the conspiracy theory nuts and all the pseudoscientific ideas that are contained within the movement.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)