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Mats Kaarbø

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Redefining Individuality

We all love our individuality. It is what shapes us as human beings and not some brainwashed robots, right? But how free and individual are we really? Can anybody, regardless of their situation, go to any local store and buy the food they need, rent an apartment that provides them with the human and sanitarian needs such as sleep, a shower to clean themselves and a place to cook their food or perhaps book a flight to India the next morning that would enrich their life personally and socially purely out of the enjoyment of visiting and exploring other cultures and places? No. You are only as free as your purchasing power. That means from the day you are born you are dependent on other people to take care of you and provide you with the necessities of life until you are old enough to attend school (assuming it is free), memorize the information that will hopefully grant you with a diploma and that would hopefully make you able to compete with many others to a job that will likely rob your personal freedom to express your individual desires to take on your own projects, just so you make enough money to survive. Is this truly individuality?

Now, what if we made a society where we utilized science and technology to intelligently manage and allocate our resources to meet the needs of all human beings on the planet by claiming all of Earths resources as the common heritage of all mankind. Where we collectively would utilize technology to free mankind (through automation of jobs and labor) in order for every human being to be able to reach their fullest potential personally, socially and culturally. That sounds like a society that cherishes the individual, right?

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    Nov 9 2012: I think everyone can agree that having every person's basic needs met is the hope and wish for us all. Of course, my vision of the future is probably quite different than most. I don't see the value of creating machines to do all of the work for us. I see the greatest value in doing the work ourselves. I don't think the solution to the problem is creating automatons. I think the solution lies in in nature. And within ourselves. When we as a people place higher value on our fellow man than what we want and what we have. When we're able to work toward a common goal of a thriving and healthy society as opposed to a consumer and ego driven one. When you strip away all of the mindless consumption and replace it with thoughtful creation, that's when solutions become viable. There is no gadget or invention that will solve our problems for us. Only our evolution as a people can do that. Technology has a very valuable place in our lives, but I feel we should be careful that we use it mindfully. And often, what seems like progress is not always the kind of progress we were hoping for. Of course, this is my personal opinion, riddled with my personal biases as a tree hugger. :)
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      Nov 10 2012: I think (but am not sure) that Mats was describing the Venus Project, where automation takes over all of the work, leaving humans free to follow their passions without the need for money. It suggests that if we had such a society, it would only require 3% of our volunteering time to sustain it. Then, freed from the hassles of having to sell yourself into slavery to earn a living, you have time and motivation to improve your skills in whatever area appeals to you, and then give your gifts to society. (Gift economy).

      The thing about retirement that amazed me is that I am far busier on more important things than I ever was when I worked for money. All of my retired friends say the same types of things.

      What can your gift be? If you are a musician, then give a concert. If you are an inventor, then join with other inventors to improve society through your inventions. It is a people-centered soceity rather than a money centered society.

      Though I have many problems with the Venus Project as it is now described, I am a fervent supporter of a moneyless society.
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        Nov 10 2012: TVP is like the Jill Stein Green Party platform... It is an amazing plan, for what to do with America... In 50 years, if we've survived, won the argument on sustainable economics, and filled our entire government with coherent competent representation. The plan for how to actually get to that point... Seems non existent.

        If we had the technical expertise, and resources, to have already automated all labor, we would have done it. This is an evolving process that takes the work of some of the most brilliant mathematical minds that have ever lived. Recruiting them takes societal perks, ie money... Of course, that's just my opinion... I could be wrong.
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          Nov 10 2012: "The plan for how to actually get to that point... Seems non existent."

          In what way?
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        Nov 10 2012: It is important to realize that the ideas and concepts put forth by 'The Venus Project' are not limited to the organization alone. These are scientific concepts thus logical approaches that could be worked out by anybody as long as they utilize the scientific method. 'Biomimicry 3.8', for example, does something similar by asking how nature would have designed something.

        However, 'The Venus Project' realize that the architectural designs and blueprints alone doesn't provide a true path for the future, so they also include the social aspects of how we should conduct ourselves and what values are sustainable within the moneyless society they propose. This is probably the most 'controversial' aspect of the Venus Project, which gets most attention, as it pretty much tells people that their values are obsolete thus people feeling that their identity is under attack. This is understandable and I felt the same way until I realized that my identity is the result of my experiences and is shaped by my environments, not something that is inborn.

        The teachings or the information in the Venus Project is not what Jacque Fresco dictates. It’s first doing a survey of the carrying capacity of a given environment and maintaining a population in accordance of the Earth's resources, not Fresco's opinion.
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          Nov 11 2012: The problem with that is that I am no longer a product of my environment. My worldview crashed in 1984 and I realized that all that I had been taught was a lie - a destructive one at that. The VP sounds like the Stepford wives on steroids.

          Still, there is much about it that I can admire. Once the holes are filled in (sicence that is now studying the "mind" as well as quantum mechanics will fill in that void as soon as more researchers come into agreement.) That which is missing is the best part and the way to get to a better VP than has been suggested.
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        Nov 11 2012: Then you are lucky. You have come to realization that there is more to life than what we currently have. But change doesn't come automatically. "We must become the change we want to see." - Gandhi

        Could you please elaborate in detail what you feel is missing about The Venus Project?

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