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China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers

China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

In China's Second Continent, Howard French explores the Chinese presence in 15 African countries. The relationship goes beyond economics: more than a million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa.

 

He says there's a debate about the long-term consequences of China's push into the African continent: Will it create development and prosperity, or will it lead to exploitation reminiscent of 19th-century European colonialism?


Tags: Africa, development, China, industry, economic, podcast.


Via Seth Dixon
Eli Levine's insight:

Personally, I'm a little resentful that our money is being used to finance Chinese firms.  I'm also not happy that the Chinese aren't using local labor, which would boost economic activity in African societies.  I'm surprised if that's not more of a sore point for the people who live in these societies.

 

But anyway.

 

If we weren't so committed to spreading our political "religion" of democracy and Liberal values, we may have a shot at securing Africa for ourselves.  A pity that we're not as competitive a country as China.  However, if China wants to play international empire, I say let them.  They'll either do a better job than we've done or they'll be as corrupt and exploitative as we were and, thus, end their tenure on "top".  So long as we're able to defend ourselves over here, I see no reason to challenge the artificial empire of China.  That's just my interpretation of history.  Take from it what you will.

 

Think about it.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 10:40 AM

Is good that China decided to make business outside of its territories. With this plan, they are helping they own economic, but also improving other people lives with the airport and highway.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:05 PM

Though the age of European Imperialism has long since ended, China is beginning to realize the benefits involved with economic expansion into other countries. "More than a million Chinese citizens have permanently moved to Africa, buying land, starting businesses and settling among local populations." Many are worried that this push into Africa could lead to extreme exploitation and disparity among native Africans while China solely benefits. If you compare this scenario with what is occurring in Myanmar and other parts of Southeast Asia, it would seem that China is there specifically for its own benefit. 

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 5, 1:47 PM

Only the Chinese would see a potential market in Africa...

However, in all seriousness I too see the potential market. The continent is huge. The population is ridiculous and it is only going to keep growing. A population of this magnitude needs goods to live. In turn, China will provide for this demand. However it is blatant that the market (African people) will be exploited at whatever cost. The manufacturing, selling, etc. is being done, according to this article, by Chinese people. These people left China in search of money and perhaps even a place to settle down. China is expanding to Africa so a lot of Chinese people are going to move to Africa for employment. China wins by increasing its economic output and losing its dead weight. By dead weight I mean the chinese citizens whom stem from lower middle class. These people were struggling in China. China could not produce jobs for them. These people then follow the money to Africa and once there "job" is done decide to stay and live in Africa. As stated by the article this is an independent decision being made. I understand that and I recognize it as not being an immediate concern.

What concerns me is the exploitation of natural resources as well as the exploitation of the African market. China will produce goods that they know will be sold in Africa- they will design everything to meet Africa's wants and needs, thus taking there money. An African business will not benefit from this commerce rather a Chinese firm, with Chinese workers. One can argue its business and I suppose it truly  is. China see's a continent that they can invest in. There country will benefit from it as well as its people, whom are finding jobs abroad and continue to work abroad due to the affluent economy. The Chinese see African people as "demand" and they want to "supply" for that never ending demand. 

The article mentions/compares this situation to colonialism. It certainly does seem like a form of exploitation in which the foreign investors make money off of the African people and the regions resources however it is being done in a business like fashion. This could be seen as the more modern form of colonialism. It's not a direct rule over a territory and people rather its a business venture. But couldn't the business venture be seen as a front? 

What's interesting is how China is very much taking a hands off approach in the local politics. They aren't getting immersed in the government rather they see themselves as business people operating in another country...for China's benefit. They aren't there to provide goods for the African people out of the goodness of there heart rather they just want to sell the goods that they know will sell to the massive population. China is setting up shop in a non-democratic way, in which they don't care about the society rather they just care about the financial benefit. The political standing of the country does not bother China. Also, this could be seen as China thinking long term. Instead of thinking democratically and "more fair like" China can focus more on its own business and people and not have to worry about crisis in the country as a whole. 

More than a million Chinese have emigrated to the continent of Africa to start business'. More Chinese will travel to Africa...chain migration... they will develop and make money off of the African market. Chinese will elevate there status in Africa off of the backs of natural resources (in Africa) as well as make money from the African market. A market that will be exploited-whether good or bad- exploited non the less. 

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The Strength of the State

The state needs to be strong enough to resist the will and the temptation to follow the will of any and all private or individual interests that are different from that of the common good.  This does not mean that government ought to necessarily take on more resources than it needs to effectively function on a day to day basis.  Quite honestly, I think that it is better if the lion's share of wealth is shared out amongst all workers who contribute to the economy, regardless as to how high or low their job's social status may be considered and judged by society.  However, it does mean that government needs to do what is simply right for everybody's sake, and to be exclusive to nobody's interests and desires that runs counter to the actual and empirically based public good. 

 

This is what's in the government's interests relative to the whole rest of the citizenry.  We respect the government that does what's right for all of its citizens and we preserve those governments and institutions.  We reject those who don't, and who simply consume resources while being ineffectual at dealing with the issues, problems and plights that are common to us all in an effective, reliable and honest matter, however insignificant their consumption may be.  We tend to value an, albeit, more expensive and functional government over an excessively cheap and ineffectual one, when we're asked point blank which one we'd prefer, conservatives and liberals alike.  The proof of this is the popularity of Franklin Roosevelt and the Congresses we preserved throughout the 20th century, while we're seeing the legacy of Ronald Reagan and the Republican ideology collapse in the late 20th and early 21st century.

 

Americans respect the government that is independent of private interest and subservient to the general interest, at the very least.  That is how you have effective government anywhere and in any form.  It doesn't matter how that government is organized, provided that it does the same basic job within the context of the given social unit.  People may have different preferences based on ideological biases and cultural differences.  But the key point that is common to all is that government needs to serve the public and not solely the private interests of public and private elite.  By this standard, we can shape a more accurate picture of common reality and be able to judge which aspects of the system work and which are only apart of ideologically motivated fantasy.  The consequences of government can all be measured and observed intuitively within the society, even if it cannot be as precisely measured or quantified as the natural laws of physics.  The relative rigidity of the laws and rules of the system remain, even if numbers do not play a role that we're presently familiar with.  Failure to adhere to them well generally results in the failure of the system and produces the need to start a new system in which humanity may or many not be included.

 

The choice may be up to us.  But I doubt that our brains or fate will actually allow us a real choice in the matter.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

We neither really like nor remember the times when our government wasn't present, contrary to what the Libertarians would say.  A society needs a governing body, albeit in a different way than has previously been defined.  A government and its members need to actually be humble to the needs of the public and work explicitly for those needs on their own terms.  Society won't take the imposition of artificial rules and laws, and it certainly won't support small-selfish piggyness for terribly long.

 

Think about it.

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Ukraine leader vows to crush rebels

Ukraine leader vows to crush rebels | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko vows to punish "bandits" after pro-Russian rebels shot down an army helicopter, killing 12 people.
Eli Levine's insight:

Well, there goes Ukraine into civil war.

 

All because the Ukrainian government in Kiev failed to recognize and accept the Russians living in Ukraine as fellow countryfolk, and to work with the separatists accordingly.

 

I don't think anyone wants violence in Ukraine.

 

However, I think that Russia is willing to fuel the violence, while ultra-nationalists from the Ukrainian side are going to be willing to exacerbate the situation with violence of their own. 

 

A shame that the Kievan government wasn't more cognizant of what was there, how things were working and, more importantly, what people in Eastern Ukraine were feeling, thinking and saying.

 

I think that many of those home-grown Russian-Ukrainians were genuinely scared of ultra-nationalists (confirmed by many of the killings that the ultra-nationalists conducted in Eastern Ukraine) and what it could mean to their well being if Ukraine was to shift towards the EU.

 

A shame that all 3 parties couldn't have come together to work something out for mutual gain.  A shame that the US wasn't advising the Ukrainians to behave in this fashion, such that civil war could have been avoided.

 

Idiots.

 

And I don't care how clever they were at getting to where they are at present.

 

Total idiots.

 

Think about it.

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Western Civilization and Social Evolution

Western Civilization and Social Evolution | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Western culture, to me, seems to be based on inclusion, acceptance and discovery about the world around it.  It, unfortunately, has members within it who don't follow these concepts and are barbaric and cruel to others who are not like them.  They also can be cruel and barbaric to those who are not as open, accepting and inquisitive as they are.

 

It is generally split up amongst the various European societies and the scions of the European colonies where most of the native populations were wiped out and displaced by the colonizing societies (ie, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).  Each society has their own unique trends and their own unique senses of themselves.  However, at least in the United States, the compass points towards acceptance, inclusion and inquiriy into how things work even though, like any culture, there are those who follow the culture more rigorously and strictly than others (hence how you get conservative culture in the United States).

 

We're all, more than likely, tribalists in one form or another, as human beings.  Unless we make a conscious effort to understand and practice within ourselves compassion, understanding, acceptance and awareness of others that are around us, we're more likely going to slip back into a realm of exclusion, anger, hate, jealousy and negativity towards those we perceive as being different than our own selves.  This, I think, comes from our chimpish background, to which we owe our deeper biological roots.  The only saving grace that humans have is that our brains are able to stop some of the functions of the rest of our brain, at least temporarily, thus opening ourselves up to the opportunity to change our own outlook, behavior, attitude and actions.  This gives us an advantage in adaptability that other species don't have.  This is arguably how we've been able to change and evolve so much in such a short period of time, as we move from tribalistic and barbarously cruel individuals and groups of individuals to more conscientious, aware and accepting individuals and groups of individuals with the advent of agriculture and civilization as we've known it.  It is, after all, through collective action and cooperation in solving common problems that we're able to achieve the best results for all sides, while tribalism and division have only served our own group when we were less interconnected and living like animals.  Some, it seems, have retained more or less of those animalistic traits, which then mainfests itself in various ways, be it through the way we interact with and view other people(s), to the way we vote and prioritize and execute policy and action in and outside of government (the more brutish being those who define themselves as political conservatives, with political liberals retaining many of those same brutish traits towards those they identify as political others).

 

Ultimately, the working against each other for tribal or individual gain over the collective well being is destructive, both for the collective whole that composes all life in the universe and for the individuals who live in those collective groupings.  We can either choose to maintain the chimp ways of barbarism, tribalism and other forms of competitive nonsense, or adopt new attitudes, outlooks, actions and beliefs that are more pro-social and more inclusive of the "other" that does not do harm onto others.  We can evolve ourselves into a new organism through constant repetitive action of thought and practice.

 

However, this process takes thousands of generations (not just years) to accomplish.  I doubt that we'll be able to do this terribly well in time to save ourselves from long term crashes and possible extinction due to our own stupidity, ignorance, carelessness and callousness towards ourselves, nature and all living beings in nature.  That is all that the brutish side of ourselves is now, unless it is used to drive away that which destroys us individually and collectively.  It's going to take ages to accomplish, if we're able to accomplish this at all.  But, it's going to have to be done within ourselves.  Otherwise, we're dead as a species.

 

It's time we ask ourselves, "what do we value?" and "how do we go about getting at what we value?"  Without these questions being answered positively, in the context of the grand algorithm of survival, on the individual and collective level, we won't be able to pass on our genetic or memetic material to the next generation, if there is going to be a next generation in the first place.

 

Enjoy.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

And there you have it.

 

We'll either adapt to the new knowledge about ourselves and our environment, or we'll die.

 

It's that simple.

 

Think about it.

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The Market Economy

The Market Economy | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

We are effectively governed by merchants and businesspeople.  Their interest is to maximize profit for themselves, not to generate value for the societies that they govern.

 

The trouble comes because these two interests are mutually excludable.  You can't be for maximizing profit for yourself or your business and generate value for the rest of society at the same time.  If that could be the case, then we wouldn't be having races to the bottom over things that are fundamental to a healthy economy and society, such as wages and compensation packages.  Wealth would be flowing out to the public from the sources of production, not into the hand of the elites.  It's not a question of taxation or increased government interventions in the market.  It's about making sure that you're getting paid according to the value of the work that you're producing.  There is no hierarchy in the job market other than what we make.  The burger flipper is just as important as the CEO for the health of the company and more valuable in the economy because there are so many more of them.  They'll spend, save, consume and invest more together than any executive can spend in his/her lifetime.  And that's the bottom line, as far as the ECONOMY is concerned, not as the businesses are individually concerned.

 

Adam Smith called the merchants' interests as being diametrically opposed to the interests of a healthy society and a valuable economy.  The barriers to business entry need to be lowered, workers need to have a strong voice in determining their compensation packages, and the environment must be taken care of.  These run contrary to the merchants' and investors' interests of maximizing profit in the short term without consideration of how the economy works and how the environment effects us all (including them).  Merchants and businesspeople can either be merchants and businesspeople or they need to give up their logic of feeding only themselves and become statespeople instead, if they can.  There's no two ways about it, for the long term health of the society that they're trying to preserve and improve upon.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

That's the skinny of what we've got, as far as I can tell.

 

Take from it what you will.

 

Think about it.

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Chopping at redwood trees for drug money

Chopping at redwood trees for drug money | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Poachers are cutting huge wooden knots which grow out of ancient redwood trees in northern California. Residents of Orick blame unemployment and drug abuse for the rise in illegal logging in the national park.

Eli Levine's insight:

When left to their own devices, the more monkeyish amongst us will destroy our environment and our society for a little extra cash.  That's all that pure market forces do to our world: change it faster than we can effectively evolve to it, and render the whole thing unsustainable and unlivable.

 

The more monkeyish among us currently have a stranglehold on our government and our political systems.  This then disables society's ability to respond to and work with the world as it is, and then sets us all on a course for self-destruction for the sake of these individual's greed.

 

It's time we started labeling greed, as defined by having no control over one's consumptive habits for one's small self, as a true mental illness that is dangerous to ourselves individually and collectively.  How much is enough for an individual and/or a family?  How is it that we accept so few to acquire so much at the expense of so many?

 

-destruction.  This is how a civilization and an economy ends.  All thanks to a few of our more monkeyish brain types got into places they don't belong, for their own sake, and our own inability to remove them from said positions for their own sakes.

 

Think about it.

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Eurosceptic 'earthquake' rocks EU

Eurosceptic 'earthquake' rocks EU | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Eurosceptic and far-right parties seize ground in elections to the European parliament, in what France's PM calls a "political earthquake".

Eli Levine's insight:

Unfortunately, this will likely lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of destruction.  People are upset with the EU's function and logic, and so they send people who don't think the EU should be in existence to go run it.  It's kind of like sending the Tea Party in to govern our society when they don't believe in government in the first place.

 

I suppose we'll get to see where this leads the EU and, indeed, the global economy.  For sure, the EU would need to have more influence over individual states' budgets in order to have more functional economic system.  However, I think they should have done more consulting with the individual societies first, rather than just unilaterally move in that direction.

 

For my part, I think the EU is a valuable economic and political institution that has, at least in part, created the longest lasting peace that Europe has ever experienced in most of its history.  This then lays the ground work for economic growth and well being, prosperity is able to flourish when people aren't living in fear, being killed with resources not being destroyed.  However, it's a question of collaboration with the states that's needed rather than an aristocratic or monarchical attitude, if the EU is going to regain traction (if it is going to regain traction after these elections in the first place).

 

This could be the death-knell for the EU in its present form.  And, I think, that that would be massively disruptive to the world's economy and to our whole human society, should such a thing happen.

 

However, those are the consequences for failing to govern appropriately.  You run the risk of destroying your faction and your institution in the light of common reality and public demand.

 

Think about it.

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Jobs Are Not the Answer

Jobs Are Not the Answer | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

Job losses will only get worse as the 21st century progresses. Global capital will continue to move jobs to places on the planet that have the lowest labor costs. Technology will continue to improve, eliminating countless jobs.


Via LeapMind, Jocelyn Stoller
Eli Levine's insight:

Indeed, automation could be one of the biggest threats to our economic and social survival.  Without people performing some kind of task, we're generally disinclined to give or receive compensation for work that was not actually done.  The result is massive amounts of squalor, poverty and death for a vast majority of people while the few who own the means of production presently will receive massive amounts of extra profits from the reduced labor costs.  There can only be so many technician jobs to maintain the machines that will be doing our work.

 

Even "higher" level jobs are under threat from automation.  In the realm of policy making, at the very least, computers can be used to design and do some of the execution of policy programs and regimens more effectively and cheaply than their human counterparts.  Company executive positions and board decisions could be done by machines as well.  The universe, I think, is a much more finite and technical thing than we've previously appreciated.  Even the chaos of biology in the wild has algorithmic properties with regards to what works and what doesn't work.  Why should any level of our human world not be as such as well?

 

Therefore, we've got to come up with a solution to a) prevent massive amounts of squalor in our societies that could boil over into unrest that overthrows social orders, and b) that maintains the need for significant human contribution to the production of goods and services in the economy.  A Basic Guaranteed Income is not a great solution to the problem, because it denies how many humans feel a need to work and contribute to the well being of their social order.  Therefore, contrary to Mr. Piketty, I would argue for across the board global wage requirements.  However, like Mr. Piketty's global tax on wealth, it will not be feasible to execute in actual practice.

 

Therefore, a dialogue has to be had amongst the business leaders, shareholders, the actual workers, the government officials as mediators and the people who are currently researching and developing work place automation and human-machine synthesis.  We're heading towards a period of massive social, political, economic and environmental change, like it or not.  We've got to have a plan ready for when the transition happens as technology develops, the demand for the technology fails to cease and we all are left with massive numbers of unemployable people who will not be participating in the economy anymore, thus limiting the potential for growth and well being that we could be enjoying as a result of a positively executed human-machine synthesis.

 

Big concepts.  Not enough time to do it in.  And I don't know about how good my few network connections are at spreading the word to the appropriate people.  I don't need credit for this work, other than satisfactory and reasonable compensation for my own well being.  But at the same time, there's no point in being optimistic unless there's an actual reason to be.  I doubt this will be done terribly well, if it's on the radar of anyone who currently holds actual influence, power and control in our social or national/international world.

 

Think about it.

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malek's comment, May 25, 2014 6:01 PM
(BIG) is the lesser evil
Eli Levine's comment, May 25, 2014 7:36 PM
I could agree to that, but I'm someone who would at least need to work in order to feel worthwhile. Otherwise, I'd be bored.
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The art and science of systems change

The art and science of systems change | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
To make underlying systems more sustainable, it takes both tools and compassion, says SecondMuse's Joe Hsueh

Via june holley
Eli Levine's insight:

I've always said, it's a question of including as many aspects of a society as possible and getting them on board to bring about the changes that are needed within an organization or society.  There's then the issue of competition against mutually exclusive ideas and beliefs that isn't addressed in this article.  Inevitably, one set of ideas triumphs over another set of ideas as a result of their perceived (but not necessarily actual) superiority relative to the other idea.

 

But, again, the root of success seems to be interconnectivity with the appropriate nodes of the network.

 

Enjoy!

 

Think about it.

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The Life of Atisha by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche

The Life of Atisha by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
The Life Story of Atisha , Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche. Lama Zopa Rinpoche describes the life and work of the great bohisattva Atisha
Eli Levine's insight:

It occurs to me that a new brand of Dharma practice is needed in the world in order to relieve suffering on the larger collective level as well. 

For individual problems, Buddhism and, indeed, any religious PRACTICE (not belief or faith) rooted in compassion, benevolence, wisdom and, what the Buddhists call "bodhichitta" will lead to improvements for the self gradually over time and that this will then HELP to improve the collective condition through changing the internal state of your mind and the way you perceive and work with the outside world.

 

But what of the collective society in which we're living?  How can we practice solidly if WE (collectively) are concerned about greed and money all of the time?  How can we practice if there are unjust laws and dysfunctional practices in the society which hurt the individual and the collective living in a given society?

 

Wouldn't it make sense that just laws, grounded in reality and empirical facts would do better than the unjust laws, grounded in belief, ideology and personal interest?  Could we live better, happier lives if the governing systems of our world were in order and functioning according to their own interests, which is also the public's interests as well?

 

We need both if we are going to be able to experience happiness, well being and peace of mind, both within our individual selves and within our collective societies.  Too often there is conflict between a government and the society in which it is supposed to be operating, or else, too often there are conflicts between one governing faction and another that do not result in productive choices being made, thus increasing the amount of suffering and agro within a given society and amongst individual people, which then boils over into aggression and anger against both factions squabbling over petty issues, concerns and information.  We're seeing this drama play out in our own world, not just in the one that's described in the religious texts of any religion, especially those from Buddhism.

 

What demons must I subdue in order to rid this world of those who would destroy the universe for the sake of their small selves, thus ensuring the collective destruction of the world and their small selves with it?  They are people, no doubts about that.  But how is it that these people have risen to these positions within our societies?  It's incredible to think that we've promoted those who need to follow in the most stringent of ways to positions of leadership where they're making choices that effect everyone, including themselves!  We don't promote leaders in our world, so much as just those who are able to play the social game to get to the top best.  It's time that we change the rules of this game, such that those who do not belong in positions of power, consequence, authority and responsibility sink back down to appropriate positions within our social order and, hopefully, get treated for the psychiatric conditions that lead them to their behavior, attitudes and actions in the first place.

 

This is what, I think, I'm here to technically be doing on in this world, at this time.  I'm not sure how to actually go about doing it, and I know that it is going to be extremely dangerous, difficult and dependent upon many things working out for me that I have no control over.  Already I've had to fight many demons within my own mind in order to make it to this point and the fight is only just beginning for the well being and quality of life for humanity.

 

Which side are you going to choose?  The ignorant, the stupid, the cleverly dumb who would destroy the environment, the society and, indeed, the whole of the universe for a little extra money, a little extra relative power in society and/or a pat on the head from people who do nothing but abuse them in practice?  Or will you side with the humans against those who would destroy our world, such that you may be able to live a better existence in this world, if not, in the next world after that?  Where do your sentiments lie?  Where does your faith lie?  Where do your thoughts lie?

 

These are questions which, I don't think, you have any real choice over.  I think your brains will receive this according to what they're able to receive and that, given the architecture of your brains, you will respond in one way or another without you even realizing that it is happening.  Even if you do take a long time to decide which side you're going to be on, it will still all be part of the program working itself out inside your head relative to the rest of the universe that is around you.  There is no magic in it, other than what you're willing and able to assign it, I think.

 

But, what do I know about such things?

 

Think about it.

 

And, good luck!

 

Think about it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oazI_zsrlko

 

 

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Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth

Write-down of two-thirds of US shale oil explodes fracking myth | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it
Industry's over-inflated reserve estimates are unravelling, and with it the 'American dream' of oil independence

Via Willy De Backer
Eli Levine's insight:

The big problem with using a finite energy source: you're eventually going to run out of it.

 

Nature is telling us that it is way past due for us to be getting off of the fossil fuels through the effects we are experiencing from climate change.  The universe itself seems to be telling us that it is time to get off fossil fuels through this development.  Conservatives can't realize and accept that there does come a point when you HAVE to make ACTUAL changes to your regimen in order to survive.  Corporatist Libertarians don't seem to be able to accept or realize that you NEED government to take a proactive role in bringing this about; that the market will not make the changes fast enough or thorough enough to bring about the changes that we need in order to make a significant enough difference in order to survive.

 

Both of these sides are driven by ideology primarily, not by science or fact.  Most of the Liberals and self-described "Progressives" also live only on the plane of ideology and not in the empirical reality that is around them.  This is how they have been so ineffectual at getting anything done to counter the Right and the Corporatist Libertarians when they have the basic outlines of the solutions that people both want and need in order to be well and survive in reality.

 

This is how the species is going to be made to go through a resetting phase, where hopefully, those with the poor brain types will be driven out or killed off by nature in the process of trying to survive and failing to do so.  Quite honestly I don't want to go through this phase myself.  That is why and how I am so vocal with my opposition to both the stupidity and senselessness of all sides in the political arena save for true Progressives and people who put facts and science ahead of personal belief, ideology or identity.

 

Think about it.

 

Because will you likely be among the survivors who are left to pick up the pieces and all of the nonsense that comes with that?  Or will your clueless, ignorant and nonsensing brain lead you and yours into a natural death?

 

Think carefully, because you don't have a choice in the matter.  That is just an illusion and nothing more.

 

Think about it.

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Willy De Backer's curator insight, May 24, 2014 8:32 AM

Is the American shale bubble going to bust? Nafeez Ahmed provides the facts. But do facts matter for policymakers?

"Despite the mounting evidence that the shale gas boom is heading for a bust, both economically and environmentally, both governments and industry are together pouring their eggs into a rather flimsy basket." Or: the power of lobbying...

Michael Stuart's curator insight, May 31, 2014 11:10 PM

Perhaps some plays, but each is different, Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas continues to exceed expectations.

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The inevitability of Chinese Hegemony

With a population like that of China, where the people are gaining as producers and consumers of world products and services, it's inevitable that China will become the next hegemonic global power.The upper limit to the economic power and influence of states on the world stage is based on these factors:

1. A balanced consumer/producer economy

2. A large dynamic population

3. Society wide encouragement and promotion of scientific and technological innovation.

4. Adaptability

5. Diversity of cultures, peoples and ideas


Via NESS
Eli Levine's insight:

Well, I don't view Chinese hegemony as inevitable.  Nor do I think that it is necessarily going to be permanent if it's going to happen at all.

 

The greatest challenge that the Americans fail to realize, accept and work with is the issue of legitimacy amongst nations, peoples and societies,  We are perceived (rightfully so sometimes) of just bossing people around willy nilly to adhere to OUR values and OUR systems and logics (as if they're universal) while neglecting to uphold our own principles in our own country.  

 

The Chinese don't do that.  They don't care how societies organize or operate, provided that they at least don't get in the way of Chinese interests and ambitions (which are mostly aimed at resource collection and other more practical strategic issues rather than imposing value systems on other people artificially).

 

Even if the Chinese eclipses the US, the rest of the world could still be banded together against a repressive Chinese hegemony.  The US may still have the strongest military in the world, but, that doesn't do much good when you're fighting more than half of the world's population if the Chinese are able to take over influence of most of the rest of the world (especially when it comes to the question of occupation and other long term consequences of conflict).  They've already encroached into Latin America significantly, made huge inroads in Africa and are only focusing on creating a larger regional power base for themselves in Asia.

 

The advantage in Asia is that the Chinese are, predictably, alienating the societies of the Asian countries that feel they're being encroached on.  This means that the US can band them together under a strategic alliance to counter the Chinese.  But we've also got to look beyond Asia, as the Chinese spread their influence globally, such that we have SOCIETIES (not governments, per se) allied with us against the potential repression of the Chinese as they gather resources to feed their hungry economy and society.  This means changing a lot of our attitudes, tones and perspectives with regards to the world, accepting people for who they are, in spite of how it makes us feel and acknowledging that they too are looking for happiness, health and dignity on the individual and collective levels.

 

Therefore, my recipe for the US is as such: maintain military superiority through improved STRATEGY and TECHNOLOGY.  Prioritize friendship amongst the neighborhood of nations rather than promote our value system and systems of governance.  Work with people to solve disputes as a true mediator rather than as a partisan for one side or the other.  Seek the common ground in all disputes with other countries, such that a reasoned middle way is reached rather than an individual win-lose situation (if possible).  Be willing to give others what they need when it is of no consequence to our strategy or to our domestic well being.  Be flexible and recognize when other governments are actually overstepping their legitimacy, such that they'll naturally lose (in other words, keep an accurate view of the situation without your values imposed on top of it, and don't freak out when it looks like others are "winning" when they're not). And, finally, prioritize the homeland first over all other imperial assets spread throughout the world.  This last point goes along with the point that genuine respect is key to interacting successfully with other nations, and that, according to the historical data, empires have never been a successful model for handling business, owing to their cumbersomeness and inevitability of collapse.  Thus is how it works in natural law, and thus, it's something we should avoid carrying out, while maintaining projection capabilities from home bases.

 

Enjoy.

 

Think about it.

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China-Russia is a match made in heaven, and that’s scary

Putin’s trip to Shanghai could mark the start of a strategic realignment comparable to the tectonic shifts that began with President Richard M. Nixon’s visit to China in 1972.
Eli Levine's insight:

But they each have their own interests at heart.

Bear and dragon historically have not a comfortable bed fellow made.


This is why we need to ease up on them both, so that they're not feeling so penned in against the West and able to accumulate so many smaller players around them.

 

What does this look like?

It means stopping with the obnoxious name calling against Vladimir Putin (c'mon, it's an easy give that doesn't cost you anything on the strategic level).

 

It means not encouraging Chinese students to "break the rules" (something that does not at all translate well into Chinese culture).

It means maintaining a level of civility (which is free) while working with two very powerful and very respectable societies who are presently governed by people whom we may not like (but who still carry reasonable amounts of support from their general publics, if you looked at what their publics are thinking and saying about them on the actual level).

 

Who cares if they're not liberal Democracies like we are?  Neither society has ever organized themselves in such a manner, and neither will.

 

Technically the only reason why we get our sad semblance of democracy over here is because the English feudal system was more decentralized, and we were founded from that burgher stock, unlike the French or Spanish models and colonies).  We've also had new revolutions of thought and sentiment that have barely impacted the roots of our biological being (hence the conservatives in all of our societies who still insist on monarchical or aristocratic-like rule).

 

So, rule number one in basic social interactions: don't judge, don't assume, don't put your own sensibilities on people who honestly will never be like us.  You're not going to save a sovereign society from themselves, unless there is MASSIVE support for those changes within a given society that will defy the bullets and prisons of the people who lead in a persistent and constant manner.  Even then, they'll only organize themselves along the old logic and sensibilities, QED, they will never have liberal democratic systems of governance like we do in this country.

 

You should instead RESPECT others, ACKNOWLEDGE their interests at the very least and TRY to find REASONED MIDDLE GROUND IN BETWEEN their needs and yours.  Otherwise, you're only going to antagonize and alienate them from yourself and cause them to hunker down together in opposition to us (which is exactly what's happening right here between these two rivals).

A bad peace is forming between Russia and China.  I'm sure that both will act intelligently so as to not step on each other's respective paw and tail deliberately.  However, this is no real friendship between the bear and the dragon (we need to remember this).

 

Therefore, let them make their agreement that's bound to run afoul of one of their interests someday, and focus instead on righting our own positions vis a vis the entire rest of the human society who is NOT going to be Western.

 

What arrogant people are these who run our society who believe that they can change these old systems and logics, especially using the methods that they're using?

Think about it.

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$15m computer shows quantum effects

$15m computer shows quantum effects | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

A team of scientists says it has the best evidence yet of an effect known as "entanglement" in a commercial quantum computer.

Eli Levine's insight:

Interesting.

 

Very interesting.

 

The universe is, indeed, an interconnected mass.  All particles and objects are entangled with one another, such that actions in one could, potentially, determine the outcome in the whole.

 

Very interesting.

 

Think about it.

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The Producer Oriented Economy

The Producer Oriented Economy | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

"Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.

 

The maxim is so perfectly self-evident, that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it.  But in the mercantile system, the interest of the consumer is almost constantly sacrificed  to that of the producer; and it seems to consider production and not consumption, as the ultimate end and object of all industry and commerce." -Adam Smith.

 

Thus as it was then, so too is it now.  We are all forced into a race to the bottom for wages, regardless of how productive our work may be to the economy and, thus, we're all left in a subsistencely consumptive state in our society.  We don't produce here, only consume.  That is the weakness of the American economy, the American society and the global society in which we live.  It's all for the companies, not for the workers or the people.  That is how Marx predicted that Capitalism would end.  And, here we are, with the leadership of our societies at a tenuous crossroads with the rest of the society, having to choose between productive forces and their profits, or consumptive forces and their well being.

Eli Levine's insight:

It's incredible to think that all those centuries ago, we would be in the same political and economic problem that the old manufacturers had caused.  We're beholden to the profit of the companies in such a way that our economic and environmental well being is destroyed for the sake of those excessively high profits.  Wages are racing to the bottom and workers aren't able to subsist in the wealthiest nation in the world.

 

Capitalism: a social death sentence.

 

Think about it.

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US economy shifts into reverse

US economy shifts into reverse | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The US economy contracted at an annualised pace of 1% in the first three months of 2014, according to the latest official estimate.

Eli Levine's insight:

I honestly am not sure it was just the weather that led to this contraction.  If an economy is sound enough, it should be able to defy the weather, to a certain extent, and certainly not contract.

 

We have an economic perspective that focuses solely on the profits of the companies and not on the well being or the wages of the workers.  Yes, profits may be up.  But since when does that mean that the economy is on sound terms, especially when people are struggling to make ends meet and are not able to provide for themselves or their families?

 

Why should the rest of us have to alter our lives and make compromises to our hopes, dreams and wishes, not to mention, be so unnecessarily punished for our petty mistakes, for the sake of the marginal profit of a few corporate executives and their wealth?  Why should our freedom be limited for the sake of freedom that they're not using in the first place?

 

Think about it.

 

Because I'm willing to bet that that is the real reason how US economic growth has been so fragile and weak.  We've forgotten the average worker, who are many in number, and have prioritized the executives, who are few.  You can't have a sound economy when so many people are denied access to the economy, and you can't have a healthy society when the wealthy have so much that they're not ever going to be able to use in the first place.

 

Seriously, this is life and death we're talking here.

 

Keep playing the same game again, rich people.

 

Just keep poking.

 

Think about it.

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Our Chimpish Economic Past, Alive and Well

It occurs to me that most of the actions and behaviors which currently lead to negative consequences on the whole of humanity and the environment (and, thus, also on the individual or group of individuals who lives within the pan-human society and the environment) stem from primitive hold overs in our evolutionary past that used to ensure self and group survival.  Back in the day, resources were hoarded and guarded from outside groups, very much like chimps and other apes protect and guard resource rich areas of the world. 

 

In our "civilized" world, where we have learned to, more or less, cooperate with each other for mutual benefits under the division of labor and larger social groups (ie, nations, societies and cultural groups), resources are, in theory, able to easily flow from one person or group to another without having any one of the two or more parties injured as a result of sharing.  This sharing is actually fundamental to our current economic system and all the material benefits we have realized from it.  Labor is exchanged in such a way for money and other forms of compensation, such that we specialize in what we're doing, thus ensuring that we're all tangibly interdependent on one another for our own individual well being and success.  The CEO of a fast food company can't survive, hold position, or be well without the workers flipping burgers at his/her restaurant.  Workers, likewise, cannot function as effectively without someone or some group of ones overseeing and guiding the whole of the organization through top down policies that match with bottom up realities in terms of organizational, social and economic physics and composition.  In fact, it's better to not think of these things in terms of hierarchies, because they're all needed in order to produce a viable company, organization, and/or social unit.  There is no real top or bottom in terms of significance to the company, except in terms of talent and competence to fulfilling that organizational role.

 

Therefore, what we've got in our modern era are a few groups of mostly chimpish individuals hoarding over the select few resources of organizational position and relative authority.  They use those positions to indulge themselves materially while shutting out the rest of the social organization that yields those positions and those resource pools in the first place.  In other words, greed, as defined by one having more than they can spend or use in a lifetime while not recognizing when one has had enough, is an anti-social evolutionary hold over from our ape past.  It is both inhibitive of real economic growth, despite of the artificially large profits that it yields and, in the grand scheme of things, unhealthy and self destructive for the individuals who are afflicted with these more primitive brain types.

 

Having diversity is a good thing for the species overall.  However, I also think it's important to recognize when and if some of our unique individual behavior is getting in the way of the individual's overall well being, as well as our society's and our environment's overall well being as well.  A danger to themselves and a danger to others, as current medical vocabulary would put it.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

Thus, we can understand many of our current economic woes and misunderstandings as being rooted in our ape past.  It starts with anti-social competition over resources, which then turns into anti-social hoarding of resources through the occupation of relative positions in our social society.

 

It's both unhealthy for ourselves individually and counter-productive to solid economic and social function In the first place.

 

Think about it.

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A Social Economy

We need social leaders who govern in the name of the whole economy and the well being of the public.  At this juncture in history, we have been overtaken by those who govern for the sake of individual profits rather than overseeing the economy for the sake of the general public. 

 

The business interests are not the same as the social and economic interests.  One enriches the singular person or family or group at the expense of the overall whole, while the other ensures that all are enriched for the labor that they contribute to the overall economy and business.  A person who flips hamburgers at Burger King plays as integral a role in the company as does the Chief Executive of that company.  Without the burger flipper, cashier, janitor, and the shift manager, the company cannot function.  They deserve a chunk of the profits that are realized from their labor, in proportion to the profits that are made.  This not only ties the individual's well being and motivation to produce for their respective businesses, but it also enables every individual to partake of and contribute to the function and growth of the economy. 

 

Profit has to be put into perspective in order to have a functioning economy and a healthy society.  The merchants and manufacturers' interests are likely always going to be set against the interests of the general public, unless the people who are behind said interests are willing and able to put themselves in the perspective of everyone and everything else that is around them.  In the end, it is only going to be with this understanding about the individual self relative to the collective whole that our social world will be at relative peace amongst ourselves, as far as economic activity is concerned.  But, until then, those who don't, won't or can't get that they, individually, are not the most significant aspect of the world are going to have to be blocked against and treated as mentally ill by society.  We cannot afford to have incorrect perspectives and ignorance govern in our world for whatever reason.  That is what we presently have.  And that, is likely how we're all going to be killed off by those who just won't pay attention to the larger social, economic and environmental worlds that are around them.

 

The market must be free to act.  But, in the government, there must be a primarily social logic to how the economy is allowed to organize, not an anti-social one.  This then ensures that the government and its members are able to survive as well as that those in the private industry are able to survive without killing themselves off in the larger social and environmental sense.

 

Think about it.

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A Matter of Life and Death

A Matter of Life and Death | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

The universe will wake up, and the deception and ignorance of the past and present will be obliterated.  People will grow tired of their McWorld, their Disney entertainment, their crass, consumptive lifestyles.  They'll have no choice; the consequences of persisting in these fantasies and illusions is death.  Those who adapt and don't live in LalaLand have a better chance at survival than those who do.  The algorithm is that simple: if you stick to the McWorld, than death, if not, then chance to carry on.

You don't have a choice in these matters.  It's in your brains, quite possibly in your brains.  You may not believe or accept me now.  But I know I've won the war against the House of Mouse and all who persist in the Grand Illusion of that they cast over all of our eyes through appealing to the base instincts that are common to us all.

The frontal lobe's purpose is to inhibit the rest of the brain, thus enabling the individual to choose a different path that might otherwise prove costly in the grand scheme of that individual's survival.  We need the root of emotional mind for some very key functions as well, don't get me wrong.  But we also need to balance it with the sense to step back from instinct and choose that healthier path for ourselves, our kids and our entire world.  Otherwise, that monkey brain is going to get us killed.

It's just that simple.

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

Welcome to the new rules.

 

Adapt.

 

Or die.

 

Think about it.

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A Society vs. A Business

A Society vs. A Business | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

A society is very different than a business.  They both have individuals within them, that much is true.  They're also nested within the context of the ecological environment.  However, a society is composed of many organizations and individuals, nested within the context of the ecological environment committed to self-preservation, survival and well being in non-monetary senses, while a business is just a singular organization, nested within the social and economic environment, committed to survival and well being only in monetary terms.  The result is that they have vastly different priorities and vastly different methods for going about to achieve those priorities.

 

A business leader does not necessarily a societal leader make.  Just because you know how your own organization can make the most amount of money at the least amount of monetary cost, doesn't mean that you're going to be able or willing to solve social problems whose solutions do not necessarily yield monetary benefits to the government or to the society.  Operating a society is a much more complicated and cooperative task, while a business can be strictly dictatorial and competitive.  To grow a society in terms of well being, health and quality of life does not necessarily mean having the government make the most amount of money at the least amount of cost, or having the society make the most amount of money at the least amount of cost (if such a ridiculous thing were possible anyway).  A society is about living, not about money making.  And that's what a business leader will fail to grasp if they were to enter into government to operate a society from executive, legislative or judicial levels.  They're really two different beasts, governments and businesses.  While a business position may enhance your organizational management skills, it does not mean that you will understand, appreciate or accept the larger picture and necessary role that a government plays in a given society to cooperatively solve problems within the society.  The hierarchy that exists within a company does not apply within s society, even if it does apply within a government isolated from society.  However, the government is never isolated from society; it feels the negative consequences that it produces in the society far faster than an entrenched business reacting to a negative product.  Yes, competition will more likely, eventually take that negatively acting rogue company down without a government.  However, how long would it take for a competitor to get up and running?  What would prevent the offending company from buying out the competition in order to stay afloat?  How could people take non-violent recourse against such a dictatorial entity as a monopolistic company without a government or with a government whose members are bought and paid for by the compan(ies)?

 

Capitalism is a self-consuming system when left unchecked by a society acting through the government.  Profits dominate all, and no one in business has a long term incentive to focus on the long term consequences of their actions on the environment and the society, however many exceptions to that rule may exist.  To put yourself under private companies is to put yourself under an ineffectual dictatorship when you're thinking in terms of societal management.  It's a shame that so many Americans, especially can't, won't or don't get that concept as it plays out in real life due to ignorance and ideological/identity commitments.

 

Think about it.

 

 

 

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The Arrogance of the Western Authorities and the Callous Compassion of Western Societies

Human rights are merely social constructs that we've invented.  We could all be wiped out in the course of a few years if a plague or asteroid were to strike us.  Where are our rights in that?

 

It occurs to me that natural laws and natural phenomenon are only the things that we cannot reverse or violate.  Because human rights can be violated, they are not apart of natural laws or natural phenomena, but are instead standards that we set for ourselves within our societies.  Like all things that are socially constructed and not apart of our natural law, people violate or obey them according to their present condition and brain type with only social consequences for their actions, behaviors and perceptions.  This is similar to how religious laws work: they're not extent in the natural world, people violate or obey them as they naturally will, according to their condition and brain type and have faced no other consequences other than what we can give them in this lifetime and in this present existence.

 

It's also important to recognize that human rights are cultural and are, at present, primarily rooted in Western European ideologies which have been transmitted and exacerbated in the United States.  This is how Vladimir Putin was able to "violate" our notions of human rights and yet still be massively popular in Russian society, or how other leaders who we think violate natural law are actually able to get along reasonably well with their citizenry and remain in power for quite some time with relative popularity.  

 

This being said, it seems that each culture has a notion of what is significant to their well being and to preserving their cultural identity and general way of life.  Each society defines the Social Contract between leaders and followers, and amongst peers differently.  Sometimes it changes.  But these incidents are very very very rare in history, and it frequently comes with a fusion of the old ways and the new ways; never a total eclipse of the old ways.  That's why Christians in Europe have Christmas trees (from a Germanic Pagan ritual during the winter solstice) or Tibetans retain an, albeit redefined, Bon pantheon as apart of their Buddhism.  It would, I think, be better to simply respect the diversity of thought and perspective in the world, rather than to deny all groups in favor of one or a select few from one.

 

However, we have many people who don't think or feel in this fashion.  They cannot accept diversity or a plurality of differences in their world, and so, they seek to impose one value system over another, regardless of its compatibility with the other.  Liberals and conservatives alike are guilty of this arrogance in the West, and our cultural scions in other cultures are not necessarily the best able, or most competent, or most benevolent of leaders with their people.  Hell, it's not like we're all that great at following through on our own cultural values here in the West anyway.

 

Therefore, I think in terms of defining and fighting for human rights, it would be better for us to work on our own practice rather than worrying about how or what other people are doing.  I think it would require a certain degree of mutual respect and a shutting out of people from power who will not give this basic level of respect to others who are unlike them.  From there, open, honest and two-way dialogue would be needed in order to smooth out the misunderstandings, misperceptions and ignorance that pervades the common cultural dialogues.  Each society must accept the various view points and sentiments of their own respective societies.  Even if the more conservative members are edged out of holding power, consequence and authority within the society in question, they must still be listened to at the very least in order to get the full perspective of what's happening within your own society as well as within the other side's society.  It's a question of accepting and listening to all viewpoints and sides, to get the totality of the reality that is around you.  From there, you can be able to work accurately and effectively with the world, better than if you were only listening to your own noise and message.

 

Think about it.

 

Because these are key failings in American and Western European diplomacy.  There's no consideration for the other side, no consideration for the other side's public and no observation of the actual total and unflattering narrative of the situation.  There's only paying attention to Western perspectives, only paying attention to Western interests without really even considering their own general populations, let alone, the general populations of other societies.

 

I'm called arrogant for being young and speaking what is the actual truth.  But these "leaders" and demi leaders of the West are the most arrogant people of all for thinking that they're the only game in town, and that their side is the only one that's actually desired by everyone, or anyone.

 

Think about it.

Eli Levine's insight:

Indeed, we may think that we're helping other people by bringing them our values and our secular and non-secular religions.  But we're not, really.

 

Where we get this missionary idealism that we've got all the answers and that other, far more established cultures don't, is beyond me.  Hell, we don't even execute these rights correctly and effectively in our own societies.  Where are the Christian values in letting the working poor be present when they're making so much prosperity?  Where are the secular human rights in this case, for that matter?

 

We're lead by people who just eat, like complacent prey-animals, without any thought for the environment or for the society in which they're living.  They just eat goods, services and money, never recognizing that there are other people out there who help produce those goods and services, and then who complain bitterly when the notion is brought up that they may have to share some of the stuff that they're not using at all (or ever) with the rest of the people who are working and producing that wealth that they're consuming or not using.

 

Furthermore, these are the people who are running the show by default and are influencing the policy choices in significant manners.  No wonder that Western civilization is doomed to crash and take with it everything else that was present in this world.

 

Idiots.

 

Clever idiots.

 

Think about it.

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An ecology for systemic change. How to foster and empower disruptiv...

Looking at how to embed into the system the code for its renewal. Fostering factors of opportunity and renewal as commons. A draft presentation, work in prog...

Via june holley, Paul Hobcraft
Eli Levine's insight:

An interesting article on how to bring about effective change.  I've always said, it's about changing the logic and perspective of people first.  This then influences culture, action, function and operation, which can then lead to appropriate personnel changes (if necessary) followed by changes in the architecture of the system stemming FROM the cultural and psychological changes.

 

Trouble is, I'm not sure how I can do this from where I am or with how I am at present.  I need greater access to the right people who are already in the system and I need to have enough bona fides and gravitas to be listened to seriously.

 

We'll see if I'll be able to complete my mission.

 

Think about it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uloWscIshNs

 

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june holley's curator insight, May 23, 2014 9:02 AM

Liz Rykert, check this out! Panarchy.

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Toward a Supply Constrained World

Toward a Supply Constrained World | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

In this installment we discuss the potential role of renewable energy in transition and macroeconomic models in the face of supply constraints.

 

Justin: I hear frequently on blogs and in other discussions that building renewables won’t work because of what we were just discussing about the drop off of oil production and the difficult economic consequences that such a drop would have, especially later this decade. Could [this fall off in oil availability] prevent us from building out renewable energy infrastructure?


Via SustainOurEarth, Jocelyn Stoller
Eli Levine's insight:

A shame that the Corporatist Libertarians and conservatives have the delusion that we have an infinite number of resources to draw upon and that we cannot possibly over spend on resources in the pursuit of money and financial reward.

 

There is only so much stuff in our world, and only so many ways we can feed, water, shelter, treat and educate the public.

 

We are going to die for the sake of the conservative and Corporate Libertarians' pay masters and ideological leaders' extra profit.  Capitalism will kill all of us off, if we are not able to end it on the social level.  We will be ended on the environmental level for the sake of these profit seekers and money-grubbers; void of any human emotion or impetus other than greed and accumulation.

 

Put them in mental hospitals immediately.  These are sick individuals who believe that there is no limit to what they can and should be able to afford, and they will take us all down, including themselves, for the sake of these beliefs, attitudes and perspectives.

 

Beats killing them, after all.

 

Think about it.

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Economic Liberty

Economic Liberty | It Comes Undone-Think About It | Scoop.it

We cannot afford to live with the notion that economic or social inequality is a healthy condition for our society and the individuals who live in it on the empirical level. To deny this is to deny history, science and reality, not to mention, the presence and potential of your fellow human beings trapped in a life of drudgery so that you can have marginally more than them.

 

Inequality will always likely exist, however, in the economy and the dynamics of our social relations. People put in different amounts of work and/or have honestly different preferences and circumstances that they're going to have to contend with. Sometimes the world eats you, sometimes you eat the world. However, extreme forms of inequality are, actually, dangerous and undesirable for anyone, including for those who already have, because of the negative consequences that pervades in the society that eventually reaches the top and overthrows them. Unless some major plague comes through to wipe most of us off, and thus, make work more expensive, the general public is just going to get angrier and more frustrated with their lot until an opportunity comes along that they can capitalize on collectively and individually. It is not an event that is likely to happen by itself. However, the kegs of powder are being stacked together, thus making the conditions needed for an x-event to occur present in our world. It's just a question of probability that something large will happen against the favor of the rich and those who have, the simple rolling of the dice where the odds become greater and greater that something large and negative happens in our world.

 

Therefore, the wisest thing to do would be to take the powder kegs that exist and destroy them, or else, if they can't be destroyed, to separate them away from one another, such that the more likely explosion of one does not set off all of them. Let wealth be shared out to the workers who produce the goods and services that turn high profits and let companies who send their work overseas be labeled as foreign entities, such that they are no longer considered American companies and can be treated accordingly under US law.

 

Let's make it harder for companies to send workers overseas and deprioritize their private profit making for economic soundness and liberty for everyone.

 

What a concept.

 

Think about it!

Eli Levine's insight:

Poverty and inequality are demons that we choose to live with but honestly don't have to live with.  They're dangerous for everyone, including the people who are receiving the excess, because eventually, the public turns against them.

 

There is no definition of "enough" in Capitalism.  That's the key flaw that Marx identified and we are, as he predicted, slowly moving into a revolutionary phase where it is likely that the public will split down the middle, conflict, and end with a victory for the working class, because their message is more compelling and they have all the time in the world to spend perfecting, crafting and being corrected by those who would grind them down.

 

The rich and the psychopaths amongst them will fall.  The questions are how hard and how many of us will go with them.

 

This can all be mitigated against through policy, attitude and perspective changes, make no mistake. 

 

But it's a shame that our present set of politicians for some reason can't, won't, or don't see what's in their interests as the creators of these scenarios, situations an conditions.

 

Think about it.

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Animals Band Together to Overthrow Despots

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Among social animals, inequality is a fact of life. Millions of ants do all the work for one reproducing queen. Troops of chimps form male-dominated hierarchies, males bossing females around and forming a pecking order with one highly aggressive alpha male on top. Poorly paid migrant workers pick grapes for...

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Eli Levine's insight:

So where does that leave us in the grand scheme of things?

 

http://www.sciencemag.org/site/special/inequality/ here is the link to the issue of Science.

 

Historically, we've tended towards inequality when we have an excess of workers fighting for a limited number of jobs.  Bear in mind, that this is strictly talking about economic inequality as opposed to social inequality, which is defined in terms of just an individual's inclination and circumstance.

 

Economically and socially, we tend to do better when resources are more or less evenly distributed amongst the working population.  Technically, this can be argued as being morally just, because if people are contributing to the work than they deserve a reasoned cut of the produce of that work, no matter how lowly it may seem to be to each of us.  Every job that exists counts towards the overall productivity of goods and services.  If it was not needed, or a cheaper alternative existed, it wouldn't be around.  Therefore, it's needed and, sometimes, those "low" jobs are the hardest and nastiest ones to do, making them more than deserving of reasoned compensation.

 

The trouble arises due to the apparent greed of the those who populate the upper crust.  While this is not universal (and it's not universal that the lower ranks are all egalitarian, "hippies" either), the fact remains is that there appears to be a tremendous amount of variety within our species, with regards to attitudes concerning inequality and relative status.  Some of this is cultural, some of this is personal.  That's how we can have such stark differences between the executives at Costco and the executives at Walmart.

 

Overall though, human societies tend to have historically done better when there was greater equality amongst the members, both economically and socially.  Talent that was born into (relatively) lowly stations was able to rise to appropriate levels, people were able to feed and house themselves and their families, the government simply had to oversee and track changes in the society and the economy rather than (unsuccessfully) suppress angry groups of humans within the society.  Those who had higher stations were still able to enjoy higher qualities of life for what could be considered more highly skilled and consequential work, in spite of not having so much money that they'd never be able to spend it all in even more than one lifetime (intergenerational inheritance).  What is money but an arbitrary social construct that we've designed to mediate and lubricate exchanges?  What good does it do if it comes beyond what you're able to use and comes at the expense of the rest of human society and the environment?  Furthermore, by allowing people to share more in the produce of their labor, you enable them to spend more money on more than just the basics needed for subsistence, which then decreases dependency on public institutions (if there are any) and enables people to diversify their spending habits, as well as enable them to invest and save money (which helps fuel growth and protects against economic crashes and misfortunes).

 

The rich have the solution to prosperity backwards!  Yet the politicians in Washington who do their bidding do not seem to have the capabilities of seeing it like that, or they are so ideologically inclined towards a self-destructive system that they're not going to see how natural law favors relative equality and disfavors inequality.

 

Quite frankly, I don't want to live in a nasty, brutish and life or death competitive system where I could die through no fault of my own.  I also wouldn't want to live sleeping with one eye open in case the mass of society turns against myself and my friends and family.

 

Do you?  Do any of us want that kind of life?

 

Apparently so, because that's what laissez-faire leads to.

 

And they're called conservatives or Libertarians.

 

It doesn't lead to a free life, in spite of them wanting freedom.

 

And they'll never admit that they're wrong in the grand scheme of things, however slightly that might be.

 

Think about it.

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