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The Most Fundamental Problem ?

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  • Scott
    Since economic discussion is allowed on this board (if sufficiently negative) allow me to repost what I thought were good comments from another board (CS EE).
    Message 1 of 14 , Dec 1, 2000
      Since economic discussion is allowed on this board (if sufficiently
      negative) allow me to repost what I thought were good comments from
      another board (CS EE). Has anybody read Jay's writing, the chronology
      of "result - no limits to growth" ? It seems to me that the idea
      below is the fundamental, the ONLY structural adjustment that has any
      hope of creating such limits, short of actual collapse.

      How say'st thou ? Or would eradication of interest be tantamount to
      actual collapse anyway ?

      ---

      But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication of
      interest as one of the most important things ecological economists
      can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash? If so, why?
      Are folks reluctant to agree with me here because so many of you out
      there do make money because of interest? What? More and more I think
      we'll start to see there is no way around this (morally imbued)
      issue. Ancient Christians and Muslims to this day outlaw usury
      _because they understood the very real negative physical and social
      repercussions it would allow for_. Let's go back there again. Anyone
      want to address this? Please. As far as I'm concerned, all the other
      EE points that could be raised are of _minor significance_ compared
      to the idea of eliminating interest/discount rates (or more likely,
      notching them down to near non-existence). I would love some feedback
      on this. Please, please, at least humor me a bit.

      Adam
      ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~
      Folks:

      Given that interest is the operational foundation of our culture's financial system, and that financial system is the operational foundation of market economies, and market economies are increasingly seen as the solution to the world's ills, you are not going to get any farther doing away with interest than did the technocrats and their predecessors who proposed doing the same three-quarters of a century or so ago.

      On the other had, if energy is related to doing the work money represents, and the availability of energy to the world's economies is declining, then the relationship of money to energy will come under increasing pressure, mainly in the form of both deflation (of things that will not be able to get the money to run them,) and inflation, as more and more money is produced to represent less and less goods and associated services.

      Thus, it seems to me, the most prudent (and competitive) thing to do is not try to promote this or that action, but to invest much more in the processes of understanding our society and its most likely tendencies and the options available to take advantage of those tendencies no matter how they show up.

      ~~~~~~~~~ Co-Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~~
    • j@qmail.com
      ... Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to something real. Banks create money every time they make a loan, which amounts to
      Message 2 of 14 , Dec 1, 2000
        > But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication
        > of interest as one of the most important things ecological
        > economists can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash?

        Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to
        something real. Banks "create" money every time they make a loan,
        which amounts to infinite claims against finite resources. Thus,
        money itself is "unsustainable". One would need a completely
        different kind of society. See http://dieoff.com/page168.htm

        Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition". Since
        competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.

        Jay
      • Jackie
        ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~ The following reminds me of that fella who stood in front of a tank during demonstrations at Tianamin Square in
        Message 3 of 14 , Dec 1, 2000
          ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~
          The following reminds me of that fella who stood in front of a tank during demonstrations at Tianamin Square in Beijing, China. I am sure the tank commander did not squash the guy because he could not see him.
          ~~~~~~~~~ Co-Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~~

          Economic activity is the source of all of the major problems currently
          facing the world (poverty, slavery, destruction of the biosphere, human
          misery, etc.). The solution is to eliminate economic and industrial
          activity, at least on a larger-than-personal scale. The industrial world is
          nonsustainable, and is proceeding quickly to its own destruction. See web
          sites http://www.foundationwebsite.org and http://www.churchofnature.com for
          detailed discussion of these points, and a plan for a world without
          large-scale industrial activity, which does not destroy the
          environment/biosphere and promotes the survivability of mankind and other
          species.

          Joseph Caldwell

          PS: Note, in particular, the remark by John Maynard Keynes about the very
          limited lifetime of economics as a basis for human activity.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Scott [mailto:lynx5_5@...]
          Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 6:43 PM
          To: energyresources@egroups.com
          Subject: [energyresources] The Most Fundamental Problem ?


          Since economic discussion is allowed on this board (if sufficiently
          negative) allow me to repost what I thought were good comments from
          another board (CS EE). Has anybody read Jay's writing, the chronology
          of "result - no limits to growth" ? It seems to me that the idea
          below is the fundamental, the ONLY structural adjustment that has any
          hope of creating such limits, short of actual collapse.

          How say'st thou ? Or would eradication of interest be tantamount to
          actual collapse anyway ?

          ---

          But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication of
          interest as one of the most important things ecological economists
          can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash? If so, why?
          Are folks reluctant to agree with me here because so many of you out
          there do make money because of interest? What? More and more I think
          we'll start to see there is no way around this (morally imbued)
          issue. Ancient Christians and Muslims to this day outlaw usury
          _because they understood the very real negative physical and social
          repercussions it would allow for_. Let's go back there again. Anyone
          want to address this? Please. As far as I'm concerned, all the other
          EE points that could be raised are of _minor significance_ compared
          to the idea of eliminating interest/discount rates (or more likely,
          notching them down to near non-existence). I would love some feedback
          on this. Please, please, at least humor me a bit.

          Adam
          ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~
          Folks:

          Given that interest is the operational foundation of our culture's financial
          system, and that financial system is the operational foundation of market
          economies, and market economies are increasingly seen as the solution to the
          world's ills, you are not going to get any farther doing away with interest
          than did the technocrats and their predecessors who proposed doing the same
          three-quarters of a century or so ago.

          On the other had, if energy is related to doing the work money represents,
          and the availability of energy to the world's economies is declining, then
          the relationship of money to energy will come under increasing pressure,
          mainly in the form of both deflation (of things that will not be able to get
          the money to run them,) and inflation, as more and more money is produced to
          represent less and less goods and associated services.

          Thus, it seems to me, the most prudent (and competitive) thing to do is not
          try to promote this or that action, but to invest much more in the processes
          of understanding our society and its most likely tendencies and the options
          available to take advantage of those tendencies no matter how they show up.

          ~~~~~~~~~ Co-Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~~
        • Jackie
          I used to have some detailed discussion of the limitations of interest in the long term (it cannot be sustained), but I no longer remember the sources or the
          Message 4 of 14 , Dec 1, 2000
            I used to have some detailed discussion of the limitations of interest in
            the long term (it cannot be sustained), but I no longer remember the sources
            or the exact arguments (something about exponential growth, which cannot be
            sustained, as I recall). I am in Botswana now (and do not have access to my
            library), but return to Clearwater, Fla., next month. I will try to find
            them, and report back.

            Joseph Caldwell


            -----Original Message-----
            From: j@... [mailto:j@...]
            Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 10:12 PM
            To: energyresources@egroups.com
            Subject: [energyresources] Re: The Most Fundamental Problem ?


            > But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication
            > of interest as one of the most important things ecological
            > economists can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash?

            Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to
            something real. Banks "create" money every time they make a loan,
            which amounts to infinite claims against finite resources. Thus,
            money itself is "unsustainable". One would need a completely
            different kind of society. See http://dieoff.com/page168.htm

            Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition". Since
            competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.

            Jay



            Your message didn't show up on the list? See http://dieoff.com/FAQ.htm
          • Jackie
            You re right, Tom, no one seems to see (or believe) what is happening -- it s the darndest thing! Joseph ... From: Jackie [mailto:jackiec@mega.bw] Sent:
            Message 5 of 14 , Dec 2, 2000
              You're right, Tom, no one seems to see (or believe) what is happening --
              it's the darndest thing!

              Joseph

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Jackie [mailto:jackiec@...]
              Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2000 6:07 AM
              To: energyresources@egroups.com
              Subject: RE: [energyresources] The Most Fundamental Problem ?


              ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~
              The following reminds me of that fella who stood in front of a tank during
              demonstrations at Tianamin Square in Beijing, China. I am sure the tank
              commander did not squash the guy because he could not see him.
              ~~~~~~~~~ Co-Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~~

              Economic activity is the source of all of the major problems currently
              facing the world (poverty, slavery, destruction of the biosphere, human
              misery, etc.). The solution is to eliminate economic and industrial
              activity, at least on a larger-than-personal scale. The industrial world is
              nonsustainable, and is proceeding quickly to its own destruction. See web
              sites http://www.foundationwebsite.org and http://www.churchofnature.com for
              detailed discussion of these points, and a plan for a world without
              large-scale industrial activity, which does not destroy the
              environment/biosphere and promotes the survivability of mankind and other
              species.

              Joseph Caldwell

              PS: Note, in particular, the remark by John Maynard Keynes about the very
              limited lifetime of economics as a basis for human activity.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Scott [mailto:lynx5_5@...]
              Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 6:43 PM
              To: energyresources@egroups.com
              Subject: [energyresources] The Most Fundamental Problem ?


              Since economic discussion is allowed on this board (if sufficiently
              negative) allow me to repost what I thought were good comments from
              another board (CS EE). Has anybody read Jay's writing, the chronology
              of "result - no limits to growth" ? It seems to me that the idea
              below is the fundamental, the ONLY structural adjustment that has any
              hope of creating such limits, short of actual collapse.

              How say'st thou ? Or would eradication of interest be tantamount to
              actual collapse anyway ?

              ---

              But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication of
              interest as one of the most important things ecological economists
              can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash? If so, why?
              Are folks reluctant to agree with me here because so many of you out
              there do make money because of interest? What? More and more I think
              we'll start to see there is no way around this (morally imbued)
              issue. Ancient Christians and Muslims to this day outlaw usury
              _because they understood the very real negative physical and social
              repercussions it would allow for_. Let's go back there again. Anyone
              want to address this? Please. As far as I'm concerned, all the other
              EE points that could be raised are of _minor significance_ compared
              to the idea of eliminating interest/discount rates (or more likely,
              notching them down to near non-existence). I would love some feedback
              on this. Please, please, at least humor me a bit.

              Adam
              ~~~~~~~~~~~ Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~~~~
              Folks:

              Given that interest is the operational foundation of our culture's financial
              system, and that financial system is the operational foundation of market
              economies, and market economies are increasingly seen as the solution to the
              world's ills, you are not going to get any farther doing away with interest
              than did the technocrats and their predecessors who proposed doing the same
              three-quarters of a century or so ago.

              On the other had, if energy is related to doing the work money represents,
              and the availability of energy to the world's economies is declining, then
              the relationship of money to energy will come under increasing pressure,
              mainly in the form of both deflation (of things that will not be able to get
              the money to run them,) and inflation, as more and more money is produced to
              represent less and less goods and associated services.

              Thus, it seems to me, the most prudent (and competitive) thing to do is not
              try to promote this or that action, but to invest much more in the processes
              of understanding our society and its most likely tendencies and the options
              available to take advantage of those tendencies no matter how they show up.

              ~~~~~~~~~ Co-Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~~~~~~


              Your message didn't show up on the list? See http://dieoff.com/FAQ.htm
            • Bill Trost
              ... OK, I ll bite and appoint myself Economist of the Week. There s a finite, essentially non-growing amount of earthly resources. Jay points out that banks
              Message 6 of 14 , Dec 2, 2000
                --- In energyresources@egroups.com, j@q... wrote:
                > > But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication
                > > of interest as one of the most important things ecological
                > > economists can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash?
                >
                > Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to
                > something real. Banks "create" money every time they make a loan,
                > which amounts to infinite claims against finite resources.
                OK, I'll bite and appoint myself Economist of the Week.

                There's a finite, essentially non-growing amount of earthly resources.
                Jay points out that banks can create money. To which I say -- so?
                More money that "represents" the same amount of resources doesn't
                change the value of the resources, but changes the value of the money.
                That is, it causes inflation, at least in the short term. It might be
                more accurate to describe the loan as borrowing against the future, as
                the loan will presumably be repaid by "real work" of the borrower.

                As for "interest": It's just a mechanism for rearranging money,
                typically to transfer it from those with little money to those with
                lots. Other than questions of fairness, I don't see what interest has
                to do with ecology.

                OK, attack away, but I'm only going to play economist for this week...
              • Roger Baker
                No need to go to the trouble, Joseph. Just assume that Jesus Christ had put one dime in the super-reliable bank of the holy temple way back when. Then assume
                Message 7 of 14 , Dec 2, 2000
                  No need to go to the trouble, Joseph.

                  Just assume that Jesus Christ had put one dime in the super-reliable
                  bank of the holy temple way back when. Then assume that the bank had
                  defaulted on all accounts, save just this one sacred account, in the
                  2000 years since.

                  And further assume that this bank had only paid two percent yearly
                  interest during this period. I think it could be shown that just this
                  one sacred account paying only this modest rate of interest would be
                  sufficient -- when compounded annually --

                  to suffocate all life on the planet under a thick layer of money or
                  its trade equivalent in almost any material form. Does anyone care
                  to do some quick calculations?

                  -- Roger


                  >I used to have some detailed discussion of the limitations of interest in
                  >the long term (it cannot be sustained), but I no longer remember the sources
                  >or the exact arguments (something about exponential growth, which cannot be
                  >sustained, as I recall). I am in Botswana now (and do not have access to my
                  >library), but return to Clearwater, Fla., next month. I will try to find
                  >them, and report back.
                  >
                  >Joseph Caldwell
                  >
                  >
                  >-----Original Message-----
                  >From: j@... [mailto:j@...]
                  >Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 10:12 PM
                  >To: energyresources@egroups.com
                  >Subject: [energyresources] Re: The Most Fundamental Problem ?
                  >
                  >
                  >> But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication
                  >> of interest as one of the most important things ecological
                  >> economists can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash?
                  >
                  >Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to
                  >something real. Banks "create" money every time they make a loan,
                  >which amounts to infinite claims against finite resources. Thus,
                  >money itself is "unsustainable". One would need a completely
                  >different kind of society. See http://dieoff.com/page168.htm
                  >
                  >Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition". Since
                  >competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.
                  >
                  >Jay
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your message didn't show up on the list? See http://dieoff.com/FAQ.htm
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >Your message didn't show up on the list? See http://dieoff.com/FAQ.htm
                • mwgreg140@aol.com
                  In a message dated 12/2/00 2:54:07 PM Pacific Standard Time, jackiec@mega.bw writes:
                  Message 8 of 14 , Dec 3, 2000
                    In a message dated 12/2/00 2:54:07 PM Pacific Standard Time, jackiec@...
                    writes:

                    << Since economic discussion is allowed on this board (if sufficiently
                    negative) allow me to repost what I thought were good comments from
                    another board (CS EE). Has anybody read Jay's writing, the chronology
                    of "result -- no limits to growth" ? It seems to me that the idea
                    below is the fundamental, the ONLY structural adjustment that has any
                    hope of creating such limits, short of actual collapse.

                    How say'st thou ? Or would eradication of interest be tantamount to
                    actual collapse anyway?

                    ---

                    But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication of
                    interest as one of the most important things ecological economists
                    can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash? If so, why?
                    Are folks reluctant to agree with me here because so many of you out
                    there do make money because of interest? What? More and more I think
                    we'll start to see there is no way around this (morally imbued)
                    issue. Ancient Christians and Muslims to this day outlaw usury
                    _because they understood the very real negative physical and social
                    repercussions it would allow for_. Let's go back there again. Anyone
                    want to address this? Please. As far as I'm concerned, all the other
                    EE points that could be raised are of _minor significance_ compared
                    to the idea of eliminating interest/discount rates (or more likely,
                    notching them down to near nonexistence). I would love some feedback
                    on this. Please, please, at least humor me a bit.

                    Adam >>

                    I may be mistaken but I believe Michael Lynch is still a member. To my
                    knowledge, he is a very well known economist. Perhaps he would be kind enough
                    to comment.
                  • Jackie
                    Roger: You really know how to cut through the butter with a really good example! Thanks! Joseph ... From: Roger Baker [mailto:rcbaker@eden.com] Sent: Sunday,
                    Message 9 of 14 , Dec 3, 2000
                      Roger:

                      You really know how to cut through the "butter" with a really good example!
                      Thanks!

                      Joseph

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Roger Baker [mailto:rcbaker@...]
                      Sent: Sunday, December 03, 2000 8:43 AM
                      To: energyresources@egroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [energyresources] Re: The Most Fundamental Problem ?


                      No need to go to the trouble, Joseph.

                      Just assume that Jesus Christ had put one dime in the super-reliable
                      bank of the holy temple way back when. Then assume that the bank had
                      defaulted on all accounts, save just this one sacred account, in the
                      2000 years since.

                      And further assume that this bank had only paid two percent yearly
                      interest during this period. I think it could be shown that just this
                      one sacred account paying only this modest rate of interest would be
                      sufficient -- when compounded annually --

                      to suffocate all life on the planet under a thick layer of money or
                      its trade equivalent in almost any material form. Does anyone care
                      to do some quick calculations?

                      -- Roger


                      >I used to have some detailed discussion of the limitations of interest in
                      >the long term (it cannot be sustained), but I no longer remember the
                      sources
                      >or the exact arguments (something about exponential growth, which cannot be
                      >sustained, as I recall). I am in Botswana now (and do not have access to
                      my
                      >library), but return to Clearwater, Fla., next month. I will try to find
                      >them, and report back.
                      >
                      >Joseph Caldwell
                      >
                      >
                      >-----Original Message-----
                      >From: j@... [mailto:j@...]
                      >Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 10:12 PM
                      >To: energyresources@egroups.com
                      >Subject: [energyresources] Re: The Most Fundamental Problem ?
                      >
                      >
                      >> But does _anyone_ on this list want to talk about the eradication
                      >> of interest as one of the most important things ecological
                      >> economists can be working for? Does anyone think it's balderdash?
                      >
                      >Interest is part of it, but money itself would have to be pegged to
                      >something real. Banks "create" money every time they make a loan,
                      >which amounts to infinite claims against finite resources. Thus,
                      >money itself is "unsustainable". One would need a completely
                      >different kind of society. See http://dieoff.com/page168.htm
                      >
                      >Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition". Since
                      >competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.
                      >
                      >Jay
                      >
                    • j@qmail.com
                      ... Yours is a standard economic assumption: as natural resources decline, prices rise. But in the real world, they don t. In October 1980, Julian Simon
                      Message 10 of 14 , Dec 3, 2000
                        > "Bill Trost" <trost-1l@c...> wrote:
                        > There's a finite, essentially non-growing amount of earthly
                        > resources. Jay points out that banks can create money. To
                        > which I say -- so? More money that "represents" the same
                        > amount of resources doesn't change the value of the
                        > resources, but changes the value of the money. That is, it
                        > causes inflation, at least in the short term. It might be

                        Yours is a standard economic assumption: as natural resources
                        decline, prices rise. But in the real world, they don't.

                        In October 1980, Julian Simon challenged Paul Ehrlich and colleagues
                        to a $1,000 bet that in ten years the price of any raw material they
                        selected would fall (measured in constant 1980 dollars). In October
                        1991, Ehrlich paid up. The prices of the five minerals chosen
                        (copper, chrome, nickel, tin and tungsten) had dropped substantially.
                        Obviously, prices did not reflect the fact that ten years' worth
                        of minerals had been taken out of the ground! One concludes
                        that prices give no warning of approaching resource exhaustion.

                        Since money isn't pegged to anything real, it doesn't decrease in
                        value to reflect decreased resources. Economists do no know this
                        because of their "witch doctor methodology".

                        WITCH DOCTOR METHODOLOGY
                        The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for discovering
                        truth amid a world of lies and delusion. The simple version looks
                        something like this:

                        1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
                        2. Invent a theory that is consistent with what you have observed.
                        3. Use the theory to make predictions.
                        4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations.
                        5. Modify the theory in the light of your results.
                        Go to step 3. [ http://www.xnet.com/~blatura/skep_1.html ]

                        But economists do not use the scientific method. Economists use
                        the "post hoc, ergo propter hoc (after-the-fact) reasoning" method.
                        Here's how that method works:

                        Suppose one were in a primitive jungle village somewhere. Further
                        suppose, that a child became sick and the local witch doctor was
                        charged with explaining the sickness. Perhaps he would say the
                        child "must be" sick because someone offended the gods. That's the
                        kind of methodology that economists use -- witch doctor methodology:

                        "Economists enamored of pure markets begin with the theory, and hang
                        models on assumptions that cannot themselves be challenged. The
                        characteristic grammatical usage is an unusual subjunctive -- the
                        verb form 'must be.' For example, if wages for manual workers are
                        declining, it must be that their economic value is declining. If a
                        corporate raider walks away from a deal with half a billion dollars,
                        it must be that he added that much value to the economy. If Japan can
                        produce better autos than Detroit, there must be some inherent
                        locational logic, else the market would not dictate that result. If
                        commercial advertising leads consumers to buy shoddy or harmful
                        products, they must be 'maximizing their utility' -- because we know
                        by assumption that consumers always maximize their utility. How do we
                        know that? Because to do anything else would be irrational. And how
                        do we know that individuals always behave rationally? Because that is
                        the premise from which we begin. The truly interesting institutional
                        questions -- the disjunctures between what free-market assumptions
                        would predict and the actual outcomes -- are dismissed by the
                        tautological and deductive form of reasoning. The fact that the real
                        world is already far from a perfect market is ignored for the sake of
                        theoretic convenience. The dissenter cannot challenge the theory; he
                        can only describe the real world." [ p. 9]

                        "'When you dig deep down,' Charles Schultz once observed to
                        me, 'economists are scared to death of being sociologists. The one
                        great thing we have going for us is the premise that individuals act
                        rationally in trying to satisfy their preferences.' This helps
                        explain why the profession tends to marginalize, even ostracize,
                        those who posit that motivation is more complex and that noneconomic
                        factors matter." [ p. 41, EVERYTHING FOR SALE, Robert Kuttner;
                        Twentieth Century, 1997;
                        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0226465551 ]

                        But Schultz and his fellow economists are nothing but sociologists --
                        or witch doctors -- because individuals do not act rationally in
                        trying to satisfy their preferences ( e.g., Kahneman, Slovic,
                        Tversky, 1982; H. Simon, 1986, etc.).

                        Jay
                      • j@qmail.com
                        ... Here is another fundamental problem that is as intractable as competition . The human mind evolved to understand (is optimized for) social reality
                        Message 11 of 14 , Dec 3, 2000
                          > Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition".
                          > Since competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.

                          Here is another "fundamental problem" that is as intractable
                          as "competition".

                          The human mind evolved to understand (is optimized for) social
                          reality rather than physical reality. [1] Did anyone else ever notice
                          how naturally people attribute causality and behavior to abstractions?

                          For example: "I did it because I hated him."

                          An abstraction like "hate" doesn't really exist and can't cause
                          anything. "Hate" was the "rationalization", but he actually did it
                          because of physical changes in his body (neurons, dendrites,
                          neurotransmitters, receptors, etc.)

                          Alfred Korzybski's Science and Sanity discussed the problems with
                          everyday semantics. He spawned a movement to use words correctly.
                          But since it's genetic to use words incorrectly, people still do.
                          http://www.general-semantics.org/

                          Recently I have begun adopt a very "extreme view" with respect to
                          human behavior and discourse. I now see people as really-complicated
                          robots driven by biological structures. Moreover, I see all human
                          discourse as "political" [1] in nature (that is, people can't
                          possibly know why they do anything; i.e., all messages are ultimately
                          intended to control one's environment).

                          I haven't really developed this new view yet. At my age, it will
                          take a few months to grow the neurons and dendrites. <G>

                          Jay -- www.dieoff.org

                          ---------------------------------------

                          [1] "Consider first a phenomenon I call the deontic effect in human
                          reasoning (Cummins, 1996b, 1996c). Deontic reasoning is reasoning
                          about rights and obligations; that is, reasoning about what one is
                          permitted, obligated, or forbidden to do (Hilpinen, 1981; Manktelow &
                          Over, 1991). Deontic reasoning contrasts with indicative reasoning,
                          which is reasoning about what is true or false. When reasoning about
                          deontic rules (social norms), humans spontaneously adopt a violation-
                          detection strategy: They look for cheaters or rule-breakers. In
                          contrast, when reasoning about the truth status of statements about
                          the world, they spontaneously adopt a confirmation-seeking strategy.
                          This effect is apparent in the reasoning of children as young as
                          three years of age (Cummins, 1996a; Harris & Nuñez, 1996) and has
                          been observed in literally hundreds of experiments on adult reasoning
                          over the course of nearly thirty years, making it one of the most
                          reliable effects in the psychological literature (see Cummins, 1996b,
                          1996c, and Oaksford & Chapter, 1996 for reviews of this
                          literature)." [pp. 39, 40, THE EVOLUTION OF MIND, 1998, Oxford
                          http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195110536

                          [2] When I use "politics" or "political", I simply mean "one coercing
                          another" in the broadest sense. To "coerce" is to compel one to act
                          in a certain way – either by reward or punishment.
                        • Robert T Maginnis
                          Thanks, Jay and others, I have personally saved 300,000 gallons of fuel by doing cost effective energy efficiency projects, but I had to fight to make it
                          Message 12 of 14 , Dec 3, 2000
                            Thanks, Jay and others,

                            I have personally saved 300,000 gallons of fuel by doing cost effective
                            energy efficiency projects, but I had to fight to make it happen, and only
                            by working for half the money I deserved.

                            There is some fundamental human problem that defies logic, especially
                            about the issue of conservation. Must be those human genes, which, being
                            nearly the same as 'animal' genes, rewards the most consumptive one of
                            their species, without the logical regard for the future of the race.

                            Race: Now there is a word that might explain things, because if there is
                            a finish, the one to get there first, wins! And why worry about the
                            others who have no more resources except for the extra water of a
                            devastating flood.

                            I have been engineering for Esalen Institute, for the hot spring water
                            plumbing of the new $2 million bath house on the Big Sur coast, but they
                            won't build it my way. Even among new age hi tech folks, my attempt to
                            sell energy conservation falls on deaf ears.

                            The new Moss Landing Marine Labs, full of ecological professors, uses
                            about 4 times the energy they need, lighting up a day lit hallway with a
                            few kilowatts of juice (even during the electricity crisis of last
                            summer,) and also an empty parking lot at night.

                            Every kilowatthour wasted also causes the death of almost all small marine
                            life in the 30 gallons of Ocean water that was run through the local power
                            plant to cool it.

                            Now that I'm a witness to non logical actions of supposedly intelligent
                            humans, I start to pay attention to Jay's stuff about human behavior.

                            Bob Magininis



                            j@... wrote:

                            > > Actually, the most fundamental problem is human "competition".
                            > > Since competition is "genetic", it seems impossible to eradicate.
                            >
                            > Here is another "fundamental problem" that is as intractable
                            > as "competition".
                            >
                            > The human mind evolved to understand (is optimized for) social
                            > reality rather than physical reality. [1] Did anyone else ever notice
                            > how naturally people attribute causality and behavior to abstractions?
                            >
                            > For example: "I did it because I hated him."
                            >
                            > An abstraction like "hate" doesn't really exist and can't cause
                            > anything. "Hate" was the "rationalization", but he actually did it
                            > because of physical changes in his body (neurons, dendrites,
                            > neurotransmitters, receptors, etc.)
                            >
                            > Alfred Korzybski's Science and Sanity discussed the problems with
                            > everyday semantics. He spawned a movement to use words correctly.
                            > But since it's genetic to use words incorrectly, people still do.
                            > http://www.general-semantics.org/
                            >
                            > Recently I have begun adopt a very "extreme view" with respect to
                            > human behavior and discourse. I now see people as really-complicated
                            > robots driven by biological structures. Moreover, I see all human
                            > discourse as "political" [1] in nature (that is, people can't
                            > possibly know why they do anything; i.e., all messages are ultimately
                            > intended to control one's environment).
                            >
                            > I haven't really developed this new view yet. At my age, it will
                            > take a few months to grow the neurons and dendrites. <G>
                            >
                            > Jay -- www.dieoff.org
                            >
                            > ---------------------------------------
                            >
                            > [1] "Consider first a phenomenon I call the deontic effect in human
                            > reasoning (Cummins, 1996b, 1996c). Deontic reasoning is reasoning
                            > about rights and obligations; that is, reasoning about what one is
                            > permitted, obligated, or forbidden to do (Hilpinen, 1981; Manktelow &
                            > Over, 1991). Deontic reasoning contrasts with indicative reasoning,
                            > which is reasoning about what is true or false. When reasoning about
                            > deontic rules (social norms), humans spontaneously adopt a violation-
                            > detection strategy: They look for cheaters or rule-breakers. In
                            > contrast, when reasoning about the truth status of statements about
                            > the world, they spontaneously adopt a confirmation-seeking strategy.
                            > This effect is apparent in the reasoning of children as young as
                            > three years of age (Cummins, 1996a; Harris & Nuñez, 1996) and has
                            > been observed in literally hundreds of experiments on adult reasoning
                            > over the course of nearly thirty years, making it one of the most
                            > reliable effects in the psychological literature (see Cummins, 1996b,
                            > 1996c, and Oaksford & Chapter, 1996 for reviews of this
                            > literature)." [pp. 39, 40, THE EVOLUTION OF MIND, 1998, Oxford
                            > http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195110536
                            >
                            > [2] When I use "politics" or "political", I simply mean "one coercing
                            > another" in the broadest sense. To "coerce" is to compel one to act
                            > in a certain way – either by reward or punishment.
                            >
                            > Your message didn't show up on the list? See http://dieoff.com/FAQ.htm
                          • Scott
                            ... colleagues Speaking of Julian Simon, Caldwell in his book makes the following cute dig at this bizarre person (in the context of describing resource
                            Message 13 of 14 , Dec 4, 2000
                              > In October 1980, Julian Simon challenged Paul Ehrlich and
                              colleagues


                              Speaking of Julian Simon, Caldwell in his book makes the following
                              cute dig at this bizarre person (in the context of describing
                              resource depletion, he wickedly enlists Simon on the side of
                              the "pessimists"):

                              -----------------

                              The bleakest picture of all is painted by economist Julian Simon. He
                              observes that, because of technological advances, the dollar cost of
                              extracting resources from the natural environment falls year after
                              year. As a result, the planet's mineral, plant, and animal resources
                              are plundered at an ever-increasing rate. It has been estimated a
                              dead Bengal tiger's parts now fetch a million dollars. Some time
                              ago, it was speciously argued that if the price of animal products
                              rose sufficiently, steps would be taken to preserve this valuable
                              resource – it just made economic "sense" to do so. The falseness of
                              this proposition has been demonstrated over and over again. So few
                              tigers exist in the wild that they are now considered effectively
                              extinct as a wild species. Similar exterminations of the black
                              rhino, the musk deer, the panda, and other animals have been caused
                              directly by human overpopulation.

                              - from 'Can American Survive' by Joseph Caldwell
                            • Tony
                              Somewhat off topic I suppose, but this reminds me of a weird half dream I keep having: I am the only living thing. Period. I mean, what are the chances that
                              Message 14 of 14 , Dec 4, 2000
                                Somewhat off topic I suppose, but this reminds me of a weird half
                                dream I keep having:

                                I am the only living thing. Period. I mean, what are the chances that
                                everything I am is real. What are the chances that I am who I am?
                                I was born into the epitome of success and high prejudice standards.
                                I'm white, male, living in the wealthiest nation in the wealthiest
                                time in human history. I have exceeded the wealth and comfort than
                                99.9999……% of all living things that ever existed (if the attainment
                                and standard of comfort is measurable to the media's ideal). I'm
                                living at the very apex of the time of human energy consumption. The
                                enormous numbers that I've just related in this chance are
                                staggering. Why me?

                                Tony



                                --- In energyresources@egroups.com, j@q... wrote:
                                -snip-
                                > Recently I have begun adopt a very "extreme view" with respect to
                                > human behavior and discourse. I now see people as really-
                                complicated
                                > robots driven by biological structures. Moreover, I see all human
                                > discourse as "political" [1] in nature (that is, people can't
                                > possibly know why they do anything; i.e., all messages are
                                ultimately
                                > intended to control one's environment).
                                >
                                > I haven't really developed this new view yet. At my age, it will
                                > take a few months to grow the neurons and dendrites. <G>
                                >
                                > Jay -- www.dieoff.org
                                -snip-
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