Justin Elkin

This conversation is closed.

What are any quarrels regarding the remodeling of civilization on Earth with ideas from The Venus Project?

This is a broad question. Well worth the looksee. Here is the link to the website
http://www.thevenusproject.com/

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    Sep 8 2012: The problem with the venus project is it does not reflect the true nature of civilization. A civilization cannot be designed, no matter how well thought out it is. Civilization is an emergent phenomenon. If there are enough people, resources and economic activity, civilization will emerge and grow. It is more like a tree than a house. You can't design a tree, you can only nurture it and hope for the best.

    Utopian systems always fail because the application is what defines the result, not the ideas behind it. Marxism is a perfect example of this. It was conceived as an egalitarian effort to free the working class. But to achieve that end people had to violently seize power power and manage the shared resources on the behalf of the populace. The result was the opposite of freedom. The ideas behind marxism became merely ideological fuel for the propaganda of the state.

    How would the "resource based economy" be brought into reality? Are the current powers, both private and public to be overthrown? What happens to people that do not want to be part of this economy?

    We cannot reinvent the present. We can only build on the past. Instead of envisioning what a utopia would look like, we should think of how we can build on what we have to make a brighter future and solve today's problems
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      Sep 9 2012: I respect everyone's opinions and am thankful yours is nonabrasive, Scott. Thanks for the input. I too think The Venus Projects's marketing strategy may be flawed with images reminiscent of a futuristic utopia. I personally like delegation to rational consensus and applications of the Scientific method to arrive at global solutions for scarcity, particularly energy. Here is the FAQ that may answer your questions better than I can.
      http://www.thevenusproject.com/the-venus-project/faq
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    Gail .

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    Sep 3 2012: I love parts of the ideas from the Venus Project; however, having read the book, it seems to me that a couple of essential parts are being left out. It begins after "something" (the crisis point that will make it possible) without walking through how to get to its beginning. It also, in my opinion, devalues the human being's essential "beingness".

    Perhaps the day is inevitable when humans will all be living in filing cabinets in grand, super-efficient cities. But what if my personhood cannot be adequately explored in that context? I saw no provisions for the "individual" - the one who marches to a different drummer.

    My biggest problem with the Venus Project is its hard-line atheist perspective. Now, don't get me wrong. I am an atheist in that I don't believe in "God". But I am a spiritual being, connected with the greater reality in very meaningful ways. If I lose that, I lose my humanity.

    Studies have been done using mice and monkeys. PUt them in a fixed space. Feed them sufficient food to allow unlimited procreation. Watch what happens. All studies show that as the population grows, the males start forming violent gangs, who rape and fight and in other ways attempt to establish their powerful place in the world. This is not addressed by the VP.

    I can't imagine anything worse for me at this time, than living with neighbors all around me unless each unit is so COMPLETELY soundproofed & thought-proof that I am afforded the privacy I need, and each unit has a private outdoor living space sufficient to meet more than just my most minimal needs.

    I personally NEED space from the energies of others, which I feel, and which tend to throw me off-balance when immersed in large groups. Studies show that our thoughts (& I think feelings) DO extend beyond our bodies & merge with those of others. I am sensitive to that. Large groupings would drive me insane.

    Humans would need to be substantially different or oppressed for that to work.
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      Sep 3 2012: It is nice to get a friendly viewpoint. I empathize with your statement "humans would need to be substantially different" for it to work. Your questions on individuality may be addressed better in other writings/lectures than the book you read. There are other housing arrangements brought up in the Project. Thanks for thoughtfully entertaining the question! If I may add, addressing connection to a greater reality doesn't constitute atheism to me.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 3 2012: Atheism, to me, is lack of belief in a deity. I do not believe in a deity. I do, however, believe that, that which is my body is the smallest part of me, and that by becoming aware of all of my processes (thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, etc), I can see a greater reality of which I am a part. The VP, as I understand it, doesn't allow for this greater awareness of who and what I am.
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          Sep 3 2012: This is an area that I believe The Venus Project tries to stay away from because it should be left to the individual. I believe we've seen the evolution of societies of people but not a society that ushers along further evolution of the individual so far. Furthermore, The Venus Project advocates using available knowledge and technology in such a way so that society can benefit and "catch up" if you will with technological advances.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 3 2012: Well, it may have tried to avoid it, and it left abundant room for religious people, but it seemed to skip right over the needs of a growing population who are not religious and whose definition of atheism differ from Jacques.
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          Sep 3 2012: Remember I'm just some guy from coastal NC trying to put forth some "ideas worth spreading". I speak for noone but myself and if I offend anybody that is sincerely not my intent.
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        Gail .

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        Sep 4 2012: I hope I didn't give the impression that I was offended in any way. I was just pointing out that there is a missing element. The ironic thing is that the part that Jacques left out is exactly the part that will make his vision possible. By and large, it's a good vision. It just needs some tweaking.
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          Sep 4 2012: I agree it needs tweaking and for that is mostly the reason I suggested it for discussion. Thank you.
  • Sep 4 2012: Let's see.
    Mr. Fresco has been working on his project for about 75 years while no one else has developed any kind of a system to be there when things deteriorate to a point at which the masses are either forced: to take virtually any kind of action for mere survival, or are forced by armed force, corralled by those in power, who are just waiting for that day to arrive.

    But let's just dismiss Mr. Fresco with a few words. Why? Oh, well, one reason is that, well, his project isn't perfect!
    We can't go forward, we can't take a chance, we can't begin, and adjust, unless we have a plan that is perfect.
    We have to figure it out perfectly before hand, and have no objections from all 7 billion people before we can begin.
    So, yeah, let's not do anything and dismiss everything because none of them are perfect.
    Let's see, what else is there? Oh, there's nothing. No one else, including posters here, have done anything at all.

    What about voting? Oh, yeah. Forgot about that! Let's vote for someone. Someone who continues to tell us what they will do (we know they won't), what they have done (they haven't really unless it benefits them) while things get worse.

    Let's wait some more until resources become scarcer and scarcer and then, hey, another war!! More resource wars!
    That will work! Someone makes money on it. Not me. Not you. Not most people.

    Well, war isn't perfect but it sure is a hell of lot better than any kind of BS like the Venus Project.

    Let's Roll!
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      Sep 4 2012: Perfection is one of those things we shouldn't bother trying to obtain. Perfection is simply not a realistic goal in any context. Rational consensus, on the other hand, has been proposed as best practice for group decision making, across several academic disciplines. A delegation to rational consensus can eliminate uninformed desicion-making and desicions given to special interests. A state of war is nothing worth pursuingor perpetuating, perhaps there is available knowledge and technology that can eleminate most war on the Earth and it's there for the taking.
      • Sep 5 2012: Justin,

        IMO, it makes no good sense to dismiss an attempt at building a better civilization just because it is attempting perfection. It makes no difference whether the goal is perfection or if the goal is something much better than what we have today. What matters are the specific goals and whether the plan is feasible.

        Our current 'progress', without any method, is destroying our environment, killing innocents by the millions, and entails widespread suffering. I am wide open to alternatives.

        It seems to me that it is very unlikely that our current mix of economies and governments will lead to a significantly better civilization, and there is a good chance that we will kill off the human species by destroying some critical aspect of our environment. The Venus Project might or might not succeed, but it or a similar project may be our best hope.

        If The Venus Project fails, we will still learn from it.

        By the way, I think your characterization of The Venus Project as an attempt at perfection is not completely accurate.
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          Sep 5 2012: I like that Barry and if I characterized The Venus Project as an attempt at perfection that was not my intent my question did say "ideas from". I personally regard the project as a culmination of ideas set forth by Mr. Fresco and a consortium of others, both dead and alive. In this society, it's necessary to put a name to such intellectual property. It seems profit motive rules progress and not what should; a well-defined systematic approach derived of honest context which serves to mutually benefit posterity.
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    Sep 3 2012: And aged care?,I've said this many times and i have'nt had a great answer or sometimes none at all which i don't demand or expect it or do i have a great understanding of the VP system.I don't know how old you are and it means little but look up an old Sci-fi favorite of mine when i was a kid on youtube. Logan's Run.

    Resource system Plus or Negative,what do you do with the negative?
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      Sep 4 2012: Alright. I have to watch Logan's Run and the Peter Diamondis talk. I'm sure aged care can be addressed by those that have an affinity for caring for people that require it. Aged People could provide value by teaching various things up until mortality reaches them. I wish not to digress into barter system rhetoric for I believe there may be other manifestations of a monetary system besides the current one; although it is my personal belief that eventually posterity will prove any such manifestation obsolete. What "negatives" could you bring to light?
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    Sep 5 2012: Paradise or oblivion .... I love a hard sales pitch ... turns me off every time.
  • Sep 5 2012: I like the scientific method. I see the Venus Project as a big hypothesis worth testing, just not with my money.
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    Sep 4 2012: Since TED seems to be refraining from posting talks at the moment, I thought I'd throw this one up I think it's cogent to the discussion:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK6k4NbxPRw
    • Sep 5 2012: Thank you, Mitch. Very entertaining, informative and persuasive.
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        Sep 5 2012: YEs - but as Martin points out - "converting a folk crowd is like shooting fish in a basket" the TED crowd is similar, but more prone to provocateurs from the plutocratic disinformation machine. The good thing about TED is the sport.
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      Sep 9 2012: I just watched the vid. Pearson has a lot of interesting points and is quite a comedian "reacting to a stimulus, you know, that thing amoebas can do" and we are a society that "knows the price of all, yet the value of nothing". I like to think a synthesis of all former codes of conduct, anarchy, and an RBE is possible. I think Self government can conquer big government. Thanks Mitch.
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        Sep 10 2012: Both very cogent elements - reaction and value.
        Government seems to form up by default.
        It is very likely that it's a computational artifact.
        To do anything about that one has to understand the system that produces it
        i.e. the medium and the active partical that arranges the medium.
        And then understand that the system IS the medium - a system of systems.
        This is the continuum of the open system.
        The instant that you close it, you invite accellerated local entropy - ensuring a "snap-back" as surrounding entropic balance exerts the universal flow - by a rupture of the closure.
        So our artifacts must acknowledge the artifacts that surround them.
        The universal flow of entropy drives all systems.
        Life, and other organising principles modulate entropy - they do not cancel it out.
        Efficiency, by that definition, must fail.
        A successful system would have to gain an appreciation of the limits of efficiency.
        It must therefore be porous - and, I suspect become chaotic because of that.
        But chaos is "potential" - one must know the thresholds at which a system becomes unstable. ANd these thresholds cannot be determined in advance.
        All one can do is initiate a system that is adaptable enough to encounter chaotic thresholds and survive them long enough to codify them.
        This is where the Venus idea fails - it is too static and mal-adaptive.
        It also lacks the sytemic "seed" required to catalyse the desired result.
        Currently, we are in the grips of a system-closing system called "money" that results in a system dynamic called "economy" - it is certainly adaptive and has survived for a few millenia.
        A much more intelligent way to "fix" the problems in humanity would be to tweak the monetary system to eliminate the toxic "efficiency" in it.
        I.E. to make it porous to surrounding systems.
        In other words, to re-open humanity to interact with the environment.
        The caveat is that it must include adaptability in the wider frame.
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          Sep 10 2012: I'm sure we agree on more points than we don't. I think enough pessimism can kill any good idea. In further reading you may see the use of emergent quite a bit in terms that a "system" they propose would be in constant process. "Efficiency must fail", "Venus Project failed" who fails a student before they take the test? You? Things like efficiency are always changing, never an absolute...like all else really.
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        Sep 10 2012: Hi Justin,

        I've been looking at the Venus project, Zietgeist and RBE ideas for a while.
        But my entry point might differ a little.
        I enter at the point of social capital.
        Martin Pearson evokes the "folk crowd".
        This is a phenomenon I've been observing for about 8 years. It is almost entirely social-capital based. Small cities "errupt" periodically at things called "folk festivals". And they are entirely different from other "festival" events. A folk festival requires a lot less regulation and produces a far more coherent community dynamic than you will see in default settlements or interest gatherings such as pop-festivals. I think this occurs through the significance of the "attractor". Folk music has imbedded in it a thread of tradition - not a formal tradition, but a lineage of history and value. It is automatically imbued with the dynamic of value propogated through the medium of community. Those who have become acquanted with this rolling community can very easily percieve the power of anarchy - how there is a need for structure, but not a lot of need for hierarchy - mostly only needd in the organisation of voluntary contribution - for many, the payment for their contribution is the event/community itself. In fact, hierarchy seems to be a transitionary imperative in the context of a deeply hierachial social environment that currently surrounds.
        Entropy enters the "folk-festival" social system in the form of money, but becomes a lot less relevant within the event itself.
        This is where I identify 2 things:
        1. Community is a default dynamic that requires little, if any, imposed hierarchy.
        2. Money is a non-porous value system - a true community has no requirement for strict efficiency in value exchange - because value itself is independent of exchange - it is an artifact of community, not individuals.
        We could collaberate on designing a new system that might result in something like the Venus project - but is must be evolutionary - not ideological.
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        Sep 10 2012: Are you up for the project?
        What I propose is to design a system that results in a 'Venus-like" outcome, but has a system dynamic that achieves the result rather than a top-down design definition wich required external imposition?
        To begin with, the new system has to have a defined "membrane" to determine inside/outside of the active community, but a membrane designed to expand by bringing outsiders in. It has to have a method of modulating entropy without cancelling it, and it has to have an energy/value exchange mechanism that is based on community multi-flows rather than binary transaction (money).

        Where to from there?
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          Sep 10 2012: I'm up for something. I think some of your ideas and many others can be refined and find identity with The Venus Project. No disrespect but we can't have a Burning Man every week in every town. I don't think we can gain anything by giving ourselves to the Divide and Conquer mindset change is up against. I think catastrophe can be avoided. In the Venus FAQ they say that only when current systems can't provide any longer or some economic collapse occurs will people begin to take heed. What if some Great War disables many of our capabilities and we have to settle for something that could have been a lot better?
          All the proposals are from a sort of intellectual evolution. In America, Mr. Fresco more or less had to put a name to this intellectual property but the ideas are from a consortium of wisemen both alive and dead and their work as well as Mr. Fresco's. I like what your saying, Mitch, especially of a new community driven use of money but we have to realize the ease of backsliding and inherent dangers in money itself.
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        Sep 10 2012: All very much agreed.
        However, one uses an ideal only as a landmark to measure progress .. or a template to measure fit.
        Once the system is up and running, it will go towards the ideal under its own power without the need of the ideal to sustain it.
        We can know a couple of its components:
        * flexible exchange beyond simplistic binary.
        * Adaptive range within the template (or because of it).
        * Expanding membrane.
        * Chaotic dynamics understood - i.e. entropy modulation cycles controled by self-limitation to driving parameter - keeping it centred in a stable periodicy. In other-words, avoiding boom/bust.

        It will need another thing:
        The ambient system is not linear - it's "lumpy" containing many other systems, some of which are robust and potentially hostile.

        There are only 2 ways to kill a community dynamic - either by obsolescence, or by direct extermination. Most of our ambient social systems maintain their membrane through murderous violence (millitary and police).
        The new model will need to have an adaptive membrane to deal with this. SO it might need transitory military, subversive and camoflage techniques - that are inherent in the system.
        The closest model I can think of is the Ottoman empire. And I think islam itself was an attempt to do exactly what we propose. The trick will be to have the system instantly mobilise defenses at need, which disolve when not needed. Pre-emptive challenges might be countered by superior pre-emption - as in the ninja code. SO the best membrane defence would be to contain a prize that no one will attempt to destroy - and anyone who does is attacked by their own community.

        AS you can see, the model is looking a lot like a religion - and I propose that all religions are exactly this - based on the assumption that our ancestors were, at least, as intelligent as we are.
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          Sep 10 2012: There does seem to be a thin line between religion and devising universal/global ethics to be taught and practiced but it can be done in an unbiased manner with focus on utility towards posterity. Pay it forward if you will.
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        Sep 10 2012: I suppose one could design it in a subtractive manner - i.e. take the Venus model and list what it has not got compared to what we have now. I think that might have more benefit than focussing on what is new in it. This would identify what parts of code-of-conduct you are designing.
        From the resulting definition, you could then identify which bits people agree to easily, and which are harder. Then work on the hard bits to make them easier - the goal would be to have a system into which people just default into - or have direct imediate benefits that cannot be easily ignored.

        Ethics .. well, by Aristotle, that's "the kinda guy people say you are". I don't think it's a good basis for a community because it can be falsified so easily .. I think a better definition of ethics would be based on something a bit more demonstrable - something that does not attach to single individuals. The understanding we currently have of Ethics/reputation is a form of property - which might be a good replacement for other forms of property .. perhaps. At the moment, the only thing that can be defensively owned is one's time .. or more idealistically, one's potential agency. I would like to see the notion of potential agency replace the word "freedom", and "advantage" replace "free-will" - and "fitness" replace "strongest".
        If nothing has value in the present, it has no posterity. The thread of tradition and culture must be unbroken and capable of adapting to unknown circumstance - while still delivering value.
        If such a seed model were to be successful, I can't see the current notion of "god" having any part of it .. any such deity would require sigificant re-definition to remove the toxic baggage attaching to the old modes. That done, one could then consider the re-unification of church and state.
        But to get it rolling, one would need a demo community. from there it would just subsume everything.
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        Sep 10 2012: Just one thing I need to pick-up from this thread:

        Where is your image of "Burning Man" coming from?
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          Sep 16 2012: Hey Mitch, sorry for the delay, the image of Burning Man is from a gathering of people who all agree to not have a monetary exchange for the services in a city they build, inhabit, and leave no trace of in the Nevada desert at the end of August. I've never been but seemed relatable to the discussion.
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        Sep 16 2012: AH yes - I understand - that's more of a pagan style festival. There's a movie "The Whicker Man" - good movie.
        I suppose that's an extreme example. But some of these guys cross over into fanciful nostalgia - like the medieval fairs. I'm thinking more of the folk music festivals - a lot of celtic music gets played, and that's a living tradition. I just got back from one.
        No, I don't think anything needs to be so radical that it can only be expressed as an exception.
        With our Celtic music, the festivals kinda don't stop with the events, we all attend local music sessions that get attended once a week - there's one in most towns in the western world.
        There's a kind of fractal separation going on in human society - threads and whorls of culture, and if you are not in a particular thread, you can't see it - and these threads are all inter-mixed .. a bit like the whorls of smoke that rise from a cigarette. These threads have different qualities, but I've found with the folk music thread that there is no pretense and little observance of the binary transaction culture that we call globalism, even though we are global.
        Tradition is a gret spine for a culture, but it has to be forward looking to become any more than dead bones.
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    Sep 4 2012: Who's gonna clean the toilets?
    • Sep 5 2012: I keep seeing this silly statement about all visions of futuristic societies. I clean my own toilet. I expect my descendants will too.
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        Sep 5 2012: Public toilets Barry. Are you gonna clean those as well? Or doesn't utopia have public toilets and garbage bins and road kill to clean up and sewer to manage, all that stuff that you only do because you are getting paid and its the only job you can get at the moment.
    • Sep 5 2012: You might want to look at this:

      http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-06-01-toilet_N.htm
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        Sep 5 2012: They seem a little expensive, plus I still don't want to fix them when they break :-P
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    Sep 3 2012: i wonder if you guys are paid to do that or what. every month on every forum of the globe, a v.p. conversation is opened. some of them openly, like this one, some of them covertly, but coming out soon. so much ado about nothing.
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      Sep 3 2012: Please translate a relevant quarrel from The Venus Project website/link if you wish to opine. Bear in mind I may not be a capable source for answers you desire.
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        Sep 3 2012: i think you are quite capable to answer this question: how comes that you appear on a forum, and open a conversation about a topic that already has like 3 conversations ongoing. a conversation that does not even constitute as a conversation, but an obvious attempt to advertise your religion. not even religion has so much conversations about it. please tell me how you guys get so much conversation opening drones? what is your secret?
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          Sep 3 2012: I am an independent thinker my friend. Generalizing my actions do you no justice. Religion!? I don't get it.
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        Sep 3 2012: my question was not very general, so you can answer that.
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          Sep 3 2012: I believe I answered your question with being an independent thinker. Sorry if I disappointed you by paying no heed to your disparaging points before the question.
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        Sep 3 2012: no you did not. this might be interesting for you:

        https://www.google.com/search?q=venus+project+site:ted.com

        ps: nobody believing in the v.p. crap can be an independent thinker
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          Sep 3 2012: For your uninformed information I did search Ted and found those conversations closed. Antagonism is no indication of an independent thinker mind you.
          P.S. you should translate your opposition better
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        Sep 3 2012: what is that obsession with translation? or it is supposed to be funny?

        one minute of thinking reveals the utter nonsensical nature of the venus project. if you believe a word of it, it indicates that you are not willing to invest that one minute of thinking. that makes you a blind follower, not an independent thinker.
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          Sep 3 2012: I don't understand your adamance being a scientist yourself. There is a saying where I'm from that when you wrestle with pigs, you both get muddy but the pig likes it. With that being said, good day to you sir.
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          Sep 4 2012: KRiz,

          Still waiting for your refutation. Do you have one?
          The ad-hominem game is fun, but gets boring after a while.
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    Sep 3 2012: Looks like the battle of the utopias.

    I think anyone clinging to any particular ideology right now will need to update their thinking fairly soon.
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      Sep 3 2012: Are you joking,utopia is fiji,samoa,tahiti,rarotonga,what makes them whistful is that all of us can't fit on them. lol
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        Sep 3 2012: LOL - you been to those places lately ;)
        Specially Fiji - you'll be wanting a military escort.

        Solomon islands was interesting - a fellow from the ruling family there wanted to sell me some trees - he was in teh process of ripping the old-growth hardwoods to prevent his island being strip-mined.
        And of course, by the end of the century, those islands will be underwater, they might come back with coral growth .. but .. oops coral's all dead .. perhaps new islands will pop-up with earthquakes and volcanoes ... lovely places.

        Nah I was thinking about the imaginary battle between the:
        techno-topians, the econo-topians the ethno-topians the theo-topians, the ellito-topians etc. they all rely on some kind of god - but end up doing no more than feeding lawyers .. who then become politicians.
        Right now, I'll stick with anarchy - my "god" doesn't give a toss about humans, and all the utopias have proven to make things worse, not better.
        We are hunter-gatherers - that's what we evolved to be and that's what we should be until we evolve into something else.
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          Sep 4 2012: I know that God,his names Crom Lol

          This is the best time to go to Fiji,no tourists.I love lawyers,i've had some wild parties with some of them,and they all say the same thing "Be it $40,$400,$4000,$400.000,if someone is not going to pay you then they won't that's when they call us in on both sides"
        • Sep 5 2012: Mitch, isn't anarchy another -topian?
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        Sep 4 2012: LOL!! Man ... what do you think is holding the Single malt and cocain industries together these days? GO straight to the judge I say - but go with gifts ;)
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        Sep 5 2012: @Barry,
        No. It's a relaxation from all that guff. Anarchy is a journey - not a destiation.
        • Sep 5 2012: And that is different from saying that democracy is an experiment that tends to improve itself.

          I will grant you that Anarchy is certainly not a destination, but IMO it has no more chance of realization as a sustainable basis of civilization than The Venus Project.
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        Sep 5 2012: @Barry,

        The Venus project requires large-scale top-down organisation to supplant the incumbent.
        Anarchy is a personal choice - it is without investment overhead and can be incremantally applied.

        Where is this democracy you speak of? I have never seen it.
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    Sep 3 2012: I'm not going to spend an hour watching this but since they don't bother to learn about economics in the first place but instead come up with something based on conjecture.
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      Sep 3 2012: The link is to a website, not a video, with a mission statement, aims and proposals, and various essays/videos displaying their basis. The Venus Project is based on the lifework of Jacques Fresco an industrial and social engineer. If anyone is guilty of conclusions deduced by surmise or guesswork, in this case, it is you Pat.
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        Sep 3 2012: Admittedly I am. The few minutes I looked at indicate conjecture and specious ideas none of which address the real problems. I do get the gist of what they are saying.

        Here is the deal the free market is not conjecture it HAS raised the standard of living for everyone in the world. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. Yet the Venus project wants to go about problems. The point is there are ALWAYS going to be problems, but it has gotten infinity better over the past 100years.

        Watch this video that illustrates what I'm talking about:

        http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html
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          Sep 3 2012: I'm unable to watch video right now but when I can I will. I can see in the link it says abundance is our future which is in line with The Venus Project. Jacques Fresco goes in some depth of his view on Utopia, there is none. I would say The Venus Project is about solutions, perhaps solutions to problems humans haven't had the need to seek yet. I would also say the standard has gone up NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, but what is truly responsible? The human intellect with technological and social advances? or the monetary system? with all its inherent problems which serves humanity to ration these advances?
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        Sep 3 2012: The first thing to know about this subject is that you do not know about this subject. Once you realize that you don't know you can set about learning.

        In a word what is responsible is the free market. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
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          Sep 3 2012: Ditto. Furthermore, I would say from time to time we should take time to observe "the first thing".
        • Sep 3 2012: Let's face it. The market isn't free. So what will a free market produce without government regulation? That is only subject of conjecture. The fact is, it isn't the free market that has improved living standards. Living standards have been improved by markets subject to chaotic fluctuation of multi-national regulation policies that are both obeyed and violated. It is moreso government regulated markets that have produced abundance and comfort. Therefore we have to take into account a multiplicity of additional factors when concluding the source of social improvement. Not simply a "free" market. The actual socioeconomic classification of our current system will not be realized until the people of the future look upon us. And the factors involved in contributing to higher living standards are so multitudinous and interdependent, no human analysis will likely determine the causal chain.

          Anyway, a resource-based economy, theoretically, is supposed to be what a free market (or any other system that successfully bolsters production) leads to. Eventually a free market will produce such an abundance, the price mechanism will not be needed to account for most things. With computerized accounting this is especially possible. However, the vested interest of established institutions threatens the realization of this unprecedented human liberation. They will deliberately maintain scarcity to perpetuate the use of the price mechanism to perpetuate their own position of power as a reaction of self preservation.

          Just know, an RBE is no antagonist to this system. It is the offspring of this system. But unless we realize it, and reorganize our institutions and governmental strictures, we will remain oblivious to the new possibilities, stumble forth into an foggy future, and find ourselves stupidly exhausted and defeated just as a man who is too stupid to make the right investments.
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        Sep 3 2012: Justin

        What am I missing?
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          Sep 3 2012: Pat, Nathaniel states my sentiments almost exactly. I'm not qualified to offer an opinion on what you may be missing. As for myself, I maintain an open mind and explore things as the come to me and search others works for clarity. There are numerous lectures/essays from the mouth of Jacques Fresco himself that may clear any questions you have on this subject. I'm sure I have much to do to clarify the message I wish to express as well. Perhaps the video you cite will help me in this regard.
          In humility, Justin
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        Sep 3 2012: Nathanael

        The market produced the higher standard of living before the social safety net, child labor laws, unions, etc. Regulation if anything has slowed down the free market especially here in Calif

        Both of you need to review the video above it is not conjecture
        • Sep 3 2012: It does appear true that certain features attributable to free markets can be pinned down and said to be responsible for improvements. But it is more complicated than that.

          If you are referring to the past, where regulation was very minimal, safety was also very minimal, resulting in the loss of lives of many immigrants and even children. If the unregulated markets of the past produced wealth, it was at the expense of many lives and the environment.

          But irregardless of that claim, markets in America have always been under government and therefore affected in some way. So even in historical examples, we can't say it was pure free market.

          As for the present, the market would fall apart without government assistance, whether it be bailouts, grants, subsidies, or development incentives. All corporations today benefit from welfare.

          Sure, you can blame government regulation for the instability. But even without government, markets will oscillate with catastrophic results. And some say the function of government is sometimes to ease the momentum of such economic oscillations.

          Whether regulation has slowed down improvement is difficult to determine. In some cases it may have, but in some cases it may have been catalyst. In addition, consider the fact that many of the technologies we have today were funded by government, developed by the government itself then released to enterprise (such as the internet) or developed by external corporations who reap the profits following its development and never pay back the public fund.

          Keep in mind I am not in defense of government, nor free markets. I recognize both as necessary for the realization of an RBE. The market being a complex of irrational forces leading no where in particular, and the government being a rational force attempting to steer the market in a humane direction. But both the government and the market have to realize the potentials for an RBE.
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        Sep 4 2012: Nathanael

        You are opining hows about some facts?

        The U.S. had very few regulation before the 1900s, in fact it was a free market then.

        The great depression was created by the Fedral reserve system (regulation), they regulated the supply of money down to the point of deflation and great hardship for all. One example of many that regulation more often than not does't stabalize at all.

        The corporate welfare is a liability to the American people, the citizens would be vastly better off without any of it. You appear to fail to realize that the greatest regulator there is is the free market. The problem with regulation is that it requires constant and astute attention. The government can't do this even if wanted to (which it is indifferent). The individual on the other hand is constantly looking out for his best interests. So when there is too much something the retailer is forced to lower the cost of the product. When there is not enough of something get of the way of the new competitors that want in on the profits. This is called the invisible hand and it works exquisitely unless government meddles with it.

        Re the internet, ARPAnet, which became DARPAnet once DoD It served defense contractors and researchers. It was given to the market place in 91at which point millions of times the investment in the internet was made by the private market and 10 times the innovation. Nope sorry that trope doesn't hold water no matter what Al Gore says.
        • Sep 4 2012: The advantages of a free market true or not, in the end of it all, any entity that is allowed to grow in a pure free market will itself become a state. The end.
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          Sep 4 2012: Despite a manipulated deflation you cite as being harmful for all, isn't inflation inherent in the system itself? Is it false to say that the Principle + Interest can never equal the money supply so new money always has to be created. Can't it get to a point where we're paying $1000 for a loaf of bread it takes a machine 2 minutes to make? I admire Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address especially the warnings he made regarding federal funded innovations under a military industrial complex. I empathize with the Free Market view Pat has and wish to be mindful of Free Market practices that may be detrimental to itself and could lead us to possibilities worse than a Great Depression. I also empathize with a Resource Based Economy in the future, for now I only wish to possibly spread some insight that presently we may be able to use to ease the financial burden on us all.
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          Sep 4 2012: "The great depression was created by the Fedral reserve system (regulation), "
          Wasn't there that stock market thingy? You know what I mean the ah ahh CRASHH that's right a great big CRASHH!! Mostly caused by people trying to make money where there is no value added.
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        Sep 4 2012: Nathanael

        No, how many companies last forever? How many countries last forever?

        Justin

        There was no inflation in the U.S. until the 1940's and we went off of the gold standard.

        The free market is what brought the standard of living to what it is. Did either one you know it alls even look at the video I linked???

        You want to trade in the tried and true (that you don't understand) for some shiny pictures that some one is selling?

        Again if I'm so obtuse what am I missing? How many time do have to ask? Or maybe you are ignorant about the whole thing?
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          Sep 4 2012: There were no value fluctuations before the Gold Seizure Act? What might of been different had we kept the gold standard?
        • Sep 4 2012: Time will tell. We currently have some companies and corporations that are up to 150 years old. And once they build up a high enough capital, it can be very difficult to make a dent in their powerhold over the market, just as it can be difficult to wipe out a nation. Some become so big, it seems no other entity can spring up and replace them, because these corporations have the capital to recover in time to prevent their demise. Amazingly, many companies are more wealthy than most nations.
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        Sep 4 2012: Peter

        Sarcasm noted however no that were not it.

        Even Ben Bernake the current Fed chairman acknowledges that the Fed was the culprit.

        All recessions are caused by over investment. This should have been just a garden variety recession. Then along comes Smoot Hawley and FDR and his endless meddling and mostly and mainly the Fed shrinking the money supply and the ensuing deflation and depression.
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          Sep 4 2012: Surely a 400% increase in the Dow in just 5 or 6 years should have been some cause of concern. You don't fall so far if you don't climb so high.
          I do accept that the aftermath of the crash was managed worse than the crash itself. I guess Smoot and Hawley were two Republicans that weren't fans of the free market.
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        Sep 4 2012: Yes your conjecture is noted but irrelevant.

        What caused the boom was that Harding and Coolidge cut the size of Federal government by 50% it was a bubble just like the housing bubble and the tulip bubble of the 1600's in Holland and was caused by too much credit, sound familiar?. It still was not the cause of the depression whether you agree or not.

        Hoover was the president that signed the bill and was a RINO.
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          Sep 4 2012: Harsh but fair as usual Pat. All these major economic calamities do seem to involve one group lending a whole bunch of imaginary money to another group so they can buy stuff that isn't worth anywhere near what they pay for it.

          (Is being labelled a RINO a bit like excommunication?)
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        Sep 4 2012: A RHINO in my mind is guilty of high treason. Hoover was warned about the outcome of Smoot Hawley and yet did it anyway. Another example would be Arnold Schwarzenegger who won the governorship by campaigning as a conservative. And turned around pussed out to the public unions.

        Funny thing about treason it goes across the board he was later found guilty of treason with his wife as well. Arnold should be taken out and shot he is a TRAITOR.