Ron Steiner

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how can we - humans - achieve a world with no money, poverty, wars over resources, and abundance for all? - the answer may surprise you :)

hello all :)
simply put - politics is obsolete (need i elaborate??). it has nothing to do with people's well being and that is why it is so corrupted and harmful to our planet and global population.

the needs of people/ mankind are: housing, clean air, clean water, clean energy, safe transportation, health care and food. FREE for all and suffice in quantities. right?

the question "how can we provide all that -in abundance - to all mankind?" is a technological question - not social or politic or religious. scientist and engineers can answer such questions and provide solutions - not politicians - they are not trained nor educated for that. (and this is not to say they are 'mean' or 'bad')

technology - if set on the right path - can make everybody live like Bill Gates. this claim holds true for some tens of years now as money keeps fueling wars and modern-days-slavery and we all sell ourselves 9-5 daily.

whether you are well familiar with the zeitgeist and Venus project concepts, the visions of Jacque Fresco, or not (yet) - be welcome to reply :)

thanks ahead

  • Feb 27 2011: Perhaps the Venus project can invite a thousand or so people, create a community in a city's neighborhood and start testing some of its ideas. Everyone can then learn what works and what doesn't and perhaps this will motivate more people to join?

    The initial group would have to be rich enough to leave their current job so that they can give up money for the duration of the experiment. I would then invite intellectuals, engineers and others to help with practical ideas and skills to develop this community?

    If the community would be successful, I think most people would follow.
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    Feb 23 2011: A world without money, huh... there's a TEDTalk in which this has been discussed:

    One (sort of) consensus that was reached was that there still needs to be a way to measure the value of a person to society, and that "value" is inherently either quanitified (as we have it with money) and/or subjective.

    So... a world with no money would only be conceivable if you have a non-quanitifable system of someone's value that is somehow not subjective OR a way to quanity value without it being vulnerable to the kind of abuses and recklessness our current system is.

    The best thing that I can propose, I've said in the comments of that talk, and that's basically the idea of "favors as currency" where doing something good (a favor) generates a value you can spend. The good part is anyone can generate a favor out of thin air, so there's no "poor" people in the classic definition. The problem really is assesing each favor's value (the "subjective" part above...). If it's done by either of the two parties (or one party, when you aren't doing something for a specific someone), it's basically the same system, but with an added complexity to it. And if it's done by a third party, it's highly possible that neither of the two parties will be satisfied.

    Perhaps if there was some kind of an algoritm to judge the value of an action to society. A universal formula that everyone will be binded to when doing favors... but that's just wishful thinking. There's no such thing currently, and I for one can't think of it - we lack sufficient definitions to create such an algorim.
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      Feb 23 2011: Hi Vasil - nice thoughts there :)

      i go with option b: way to quantity value without it being vulnerable to the kind of abuses and recklessness our current system is. so does Fresco and the venus project supporters.

      now this brings up some interesting thoughts about HOW we can quantify value, counting in a way that eliminate abuse of any kind (corruption and parasites). let's brainstorm:

      now assume technological advances that liberates human labor-

      so 'favorism' (if i understand your meaning) could in fact be one. mostly if the person wishes to open a restaurant or be an artist or football player for example - i'd like to know there's a demand for it, that people favor his right and wish it to be so. in turn - he can serve them his gifted food or present his artworks or physical skill etc.

      also, in addition, to comply that - we can query/ survey and analyze the relative popular opinion for the value of a1 hour's unit of work (UOW), in an on-going fashion too (so to allow update to the model) - e.g. an imaginary personal one: 1hr cleaning streets & sewer pipes=4hs teaching=6hrs learing/writing a book=12hrs acting on film=16hs of publicly playing in a band=20 hours of painting for the museum. and there's no reason why a person wouldn't 'earn' his rights by contributing his time and gifts in more than one way - if the momentary demand is say for 12weekly UOWs of each person, if they are informed where they might be valuable - they can choose to do one or some things that 'gives them the credit', next week it might be 18 cause we're building a new park or railway. then it might be 10. can you imagine how clean the cities would be? or how quickly we build houses or parks? i'd love to be able to do so many things in a life time, participate and contribute in so many processes and have near absolute freedom in managing my time and desires. wouldn't you?
      how to ENSURE that everybody actually earns their rights by contribution? again a technological question...
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        Feb 25 2011: Doing the survey itself would be subjective, because the value every person says is taken out of context (or to be more precise - being put into their own context). To properly asses the value of any action, you need to be aware of all possible actions. A thing we don't have currently which is one reason for speculative rises and in turn inflation and in turn... everything.

        Even with a centralized value making where all actions are known, judging every action is incomprehensable for a single human being and next to impossible to design even by a commitie. Add to that the fact that every value should guarantee a minimum living standard (subjective...) if done for a sufficiently continious amount of time (subjective...).

        The problems with designing such a system TODAY are not so much technological but semantical. All important definitions like "living standard", "sufficient time", "value", "work" even are subjective and in turn make the specification of such a system next to impossible.

        I'd like to take computer games as my example of good system where you have both money and experience, and sometimes have the experience (akin to "favors" above) be tradeable too. "Guild Wars" is the best example - every level raise there gives you a "skill point" which you can use to buy skills with some skills requiring more than one point to be learned... but the difference there is all values were previously defined by the game developers, who are aware of all possible actions in their game. They know exactly how much XP to give for each action and how hard you need to "work" for each skill.
        • Feb 28 2011: Vasil, I cannot reply directly to your last post in this thread so instead I will try to do so here.

          In terms of liking a book, do we then propose a system that favors the most popular books and neglects to support books that are not as popular but are nevertheless very important as they cover very important and perhaps complex topics in philosophy, astronomy, math etc?

          I think it will not be easy to come with a fair and accurate system since, as you point out, many aspects of it are fairly subjective.

          However we cannot say it is impossible. I support people that want to tackle this problem and wish them success.
      • Feb 27 2011: How do we decide that writing a book is 12 UOW if someone writes books everyone wants to read and then me who like to write something but no one is interested to read it for whatever reason? Can I continue to write my books and get 12 UOW? How can one decide that my books are worthless? Maybe I do have dozens or so fans but not thousands or millions.

        Similarly with art. What if I want to test computer games? That would be really popular choice.
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          Feb 27 2011: That part is to remain equivalent to the current system - if you have more people reading AND liking your book, it means you've given more value to society and therefore have earned all the extra "credits" or whatever we call the favor value's unit.

          But then we arrive at another subjective definition - liking... for people who haven't liked your book, you haven't provided value and therefore don't deserve your credits, but you deserve it for people who've liked your book. Without the liking being a condition for "credit" exchange, we're back to square 1, as the system is exploitable by cheaters trying to get value without having earned it (another vulnerability of money).

          There might be some minimal universal unconditionally paid credit just because you've put some time into your bad work, but surely, the effect matters more than the time spent.
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    Feb 23 2011: people are commonly 'confused' about the concept of being rich and wealthy.
    when most people tell me they wish to be rich, wealthy, "millionaires" know - have millions of $ in the bank... i do not doubt it. it makes perfect sense - most people would understand it and sympathize, without giving it a second, deeper thought.
    me? i simply fail to understand how would a virtual printout of an 1000000$s account balance should make one feel so good. so i ask them "how'd that make you feel good? what's the motivation?"
    "oh.. it's not the numbers themselves" they say "its being free and feel secured, not work for living but work for [some other reason], enjoy the diversity of opportunities - travel, sail, scuba dive, do whatever we want and love"... SO WHY NOT SAY SO??? people don't want to be millionaires and rich - they WANT TO LIVE THE MILLIONAIRE'S LIFE - and this is what the Venus Project aims for and is all about! not for the few, but for EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE - this is the future it suggests WE DESIGN. and it says we can do it ever better than than before. get yourself familiar with the ideas and if you foresee a problem with it, a challenge or difficulty, even if it might makes your logic gives you reasons to Why it should be impossible to achieve - ASK HOW we plan on solving it. ASK HOW we suggest looking for answers - that way - we can LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. now, would you rather give it whole up? never try or aspire? or would you like to participate in designing it? would you rather let limiting believes - which are nothing more than personal analysis and predictions - dictate its unborn failure or would you TAKE ACTION and MAKE IT BE? only a series of attempts, not series of opinions, can determine whether it is possible or not - why waste time - lets START DOING IT.
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    Feb 21 2011: It's not so much how it's more when? I think that time will come when the collective conscience says enough. After WWll people were much kinder to each other and more willing to help each other without the desire for payment. It was support on a human level. After September 11th there was a visible level of kindness on a human level in the Washington DC area where I lived at the time the all hell broke loose again. The point I am trying to make is sadly I don't think we have reached the bottom from where we see the way out yet.
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      Feb 21 2011: i don't like saying it, i wish it was otherwise - i tend to agree with you and i say it with heavy heart....
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    Feb 20 2011: I am familiar with the Zeitgeist and Venus Project and I think they are utopical concepts.

    First of all, the resource we have are limited. Your view might work if we had abundant or limitless resources but that is not the case. We all live on this earth and it cannot put up with the stress.

    I would recommend waking up and accepting the facts.
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      Feb 21 2011: i accept your recommendation:
      FACT 1: Fresco clearly states venus is NOT utopia. utopia is a theoretical concept implying 'perfection' - how can an idea that aspires to ongoing and emerging improvement considered utopia? may 'familiar' isn't enough... maybe your believes are limiting you.
      FACT 2: while some resources are limited others aren't. when it comes to energy - wind, solar, geothermic and wave power (OWT) are limitless. we can efficiently harness them and have a lifetime supply of clean energy. fossil fuel is limited and polluting. and limited resources lead to wars (e.g. Iraq).
      further more - when manufactures will stop making 'shitty' commodities that are doomed to stop functioning, that we throw & pollute (or recycle at best), and instead design long-lasting, durable, upgradable commodities - it will be a HUGE step toward economized use of resources - way way way better than we use them today! you cannot deny that.
      today a manufacturer who chooses to do so he will go out of business in no time.
      FACT 3: just because we are heading towards 'total annihilation' of the globe's resources doesn't mean we are there yet - there's still time and the process is reversible - this is one of the basic ideas and greatest motivator that Fresco brings along with him. so far earth puts up with the stress - it is us who can't handle the way our planet handles the stress - we better change and mend ourselves.

      and last - you briefly gave your opinion for 'WHY' you(!) think!(!) venus wouldn't work. so you basically gave a WHY answer to a HOW question. you haven't even suggested an alternative. i believe you have reason to think so - maybe you foresee a problem or few with the venus vision... if so - please - describe the problems you foresee and then ask me HOW do i suppose/suggest we solve them and if my answer does no satisfy - keep asking, keep challenging me. that way we can learn from each other.

      all the best.
  • Feb 18 2011: Recently I have become familiar with The Venus Project. I applaud the goals that the project attempts to achieve and I will try to support it.

    However I see too many fundamental problems. It seems to me that the project is so much focused on technology and it does not pay enough attention to human and society behaviors.

    a) I think if you remove money, resources will become the new currency. You need some way to measure expenses and revenues. You need to measure how much businesses produce and how much people consume.

    b) By removing money you are creating new complex problems. First, we will loose hidden forces of the capitalistic market that affect, through supply and demand, what should be made and how much of it. Who will decide that? Second, you are removing many decision makers (like investors, business owners etc). Now who will decide whether a stadium should be built? An entertainment park should be built? What about building a new factory? A new restaurant?

    c) It would be great if everyone could get a job they love. However, we have lots of jobs that no one wants to do. Who will do these jobs? What if you get too many game testers but too few doctors? Some people will want to be surgeons but they will never have the right skills. What happens to them? What about people that will never want to do anything?

    d) How do you ensure some individuals do not take over power?
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      Feb 18 2011: Hello Zdenek :)
      a) that is pretty much the basic concept of the "Resource Based Economy" (RBE) paradigm suggested by the venus project. it isn't a problem - it's the method that will ensure economized, sustainable globe. so yes :)
      b) shifting from capitalistic, monetary based economy to RBE, indeed requires new decision strategies - the answers to questions such as "how much of X should we produce?" should be directly calculated and derived from needs of the population. i mentioned many times - abundance - this is it - "just as much as needed or desired - no more, no less". imagine production of consumer items that are the state-of-the-art, functionaly superb, durable, upgradable and reliable. manufacturers won't need to "increase revenue" in the next fiscal year - a manufacture creates and manufactures mediocre product line so that people will easily be tempted to, or disappointingly forced to, buy "the new and improved" model - otherwise - he'd be out of business in no time...
      same applies for amusement parks, art and sport centers and so on - based on the population you can calculate the demand and satisfy it with 'better-than-ever' solution.
      and how do we decide as a community - again - a technological/algorithmic challenge - how do we decide the winner of "The Big Brother" or "American Idol"? how do you decide who'd be your ruler for the next 4 years? - you ask the people and consider their answers. skilled professionals (scientists, engineers) will stir the wheel
      c) i believe that people will have many "jobs", many qualifications and their motivations will be totally different, curiosity might be one. and machines will do the major part of labor. today, most people navigate through studies and acquire AN occupation. in the future you will be able to learn more than one thing before you commit yourself to one professional course, you'd be able to learn more new skills at will, i believe it would be common and encouraged! - i'll continue in the next section->
      • Feb 20 2011: Hello Ron,

        Thank you for your reply. It cleared a few things for me.

        I still have a few more questions thou =)

        You are saying that you can calculate or estimate what needs to be built (like entertainment parks and new products). How will one we able to do that? People do not know ahead of time what they want in detail until they actually see it. I guess one can experiment with limited group of people to see the results.

        What if an individual wants to get a yacht? Or create their own store where they can built something? Given we do have limited resources and energy at this point (perhaps until we have fusion generator and mine resources from outer space), how do you decide who gets what?

        Why not try to improve existing developed countries to do what Venus project attempts? I think it will cost billions to get Venus project implemented even on a small scale?

        Additional problem is to decide who should steer the wheel. If you have many candidates that have very similar skills etc. how do you decide who should take on certain responsibilities? It seems like human interactions and relationships within organizations is very complex problem to deal with.

        As I mentioned in my other post below, we don't even have yet the technology to analyse billions of people's needs and interactions. We can't even predict weather yet. We don't have technology to replace most of manual jobs yet. I estimate it will take another few decades to get there.

        Also, will people engage in workplace enough to make the economy work (unless everything can be automated and then people will not even need to work). It is so easy to be at work but not really produce anything. People can unintentionally spend hours surfing the web or talking with their friends and families or focus on unimportant things.

        I see big waste happing with wrong decisions that certain people will make over and over with little consequences while in the existing world you go bankrupt for serious mistakes?
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          Feb 21 2011: Hello again Zdenek

          i believe that calculating the population's needs is relatively similar to what market researcher do today with a simple change of intentions - base it on actual needs and not create a market for something profitable. i believe there are many people skilled for this task.

          if the individual wants to take a yacht for a sail he'd have access to one rather than buy one - today people who have yachts dock them for the majority of time which results in 'unemployment' of yachts, and need for bigger and bigger harbors. if not privately owned, if considered a need for the population it will be considered as such and everybody who wishes can take a yacht for when planned on using it. scheduling/planing ahead might be required but other than that - more people will have yachts than today - everybody will enjoy them. same applies for SUVs, high end tech equipment as cameras, scuba gear, surfing, ski, cars and many many other 'commodities'. this aligns very well with economized use of resources, including reduced production and pollution and recycling cause it will require production of more durable, long lasting, upgradable, repairable products.

          i am very much convinced that implementing the venus project in undeveloped countries first should be the goal for so many reasons. it takes billions of $s to "bring democracy" it take billions of $s to maintain armies. it takes billions of $s to restore the damages of wars. and there are billion of $s privately held and kept in private bank accounts that will never be used for the betterment of all mankind. most of them will be 'lost' in market trades, or simply passed inherently to the next private owner. billions of $s are here, simply not accessible for such goals. and btw - these $s are most likely earned by by the few taking advantage of the population or its resources - lands, mining oil, diamonds, minerals and fauna.
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          Feb 21 2011: it might be slightly too far fetched but steering the wheel might even be easier if you let 'algorithmic machines' provide the majority of the input (in terms of how much is needed or available and prioritizing it) and let a group of scientists and engineers (social or technological) find ways to cooperate, rather than today's separate representatives elected by separate portions of the population bashing each other over separate needs (only so they can be re-elected btw, and support the ongoing exploitation or global resources by the few) - ego and greed is the main incentive for people who wish to steer the wheel today - that is why so many wish to do it, this is why it is so corrupted...

          if we continue to behave teh way we do, me and you included, it will in fact take decades. when profit, and not well being, dictates the road for scientists this is what you get. i am very educated in technology and science and i believe it is easier than is commonly thought. had we started it in the 70s - we'd already been there. it is not the lack of knowledge or technology but the lack of incentives. it is that simple.

          i see those mistakes too, happening today and all over our past. as i mentioned before - we should have better decision strategies and tools to make the right ones. we can ever improve ourselves in that, with better educated population along with greater participation of them in decisions or input for decision makers.... much like we vote for "The Big Brother" or "American Idol" :)

          i wish to thank you for productive questioning and the curiosity you demonstrated - i like your approach. thank you!
          and all the best :D
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      Feb 18 2011: ->continued:
      personally - if money isn't the issue, having a house/food/transportation etc - I'd rather work 2 hours cleaning sewer pipes than 10 hours of nearly anything else (except for things i LOVE). with that in mind, and assuming technologically cleaning sewer pipes is no big challenge, this is just an example of how you motivate people to clean sewer pipes cause as i mentioned in this post - just cause money wont be in use doesn't mean that people shouldn't earn the right to feed or house or travel by contributing in meaningful ways to society - there will be means and measures to that, maybe a very very reasonable threshold or benchmark, reachable by all but the exceptional (handicapped,ill,old,young?), that will entitle people of those basic rights for the fundamentals of existence and fair living.
      some people value their free time, some value help for others, some value visual arts, some value advanced mechanics and innovations... align these values with solutions and you got proper motivations to all.
      d) you start by educating them at young age, you take away money (power) and eliminate the need for armies (wars over resources) and replace laws with technical solutions wherever applicable. you raise happy, caring people with as little ego as possible :)

      there is a common, yet unnatural, dichotomy claiming that there is a human nature and there's acquired behavior, there are things wired in us biologically and things we learn from the environment.... nothing is further from the truth: you cannot dissect a person's personality that way cause we all grow in environments since we are 4 weeks old fetus and have an environment.
      human nature is simply the nature of all universal livings - given the available(!) options - you choose the best one for you! always had, always will - nobody chooses the 2nd or 3rd best option available.

      i hope that answers your questions (if not -let me know) and thank you so much for participating and contributing :D
      all the best
      • Feb 20 2011: How do you measure if an artist contributed enough to the society so that he can get things he desires? How do you measure if dentist makes enough repairs? Who decides whether my innovation is really valuable and worth something? What about astronomers? Athletes?

        Unless you are assuming we manage population growth, how do you ensures every person can have a house if they want to? Have a restaurant? Have a golf course etc?

        Will people become more consumerist as a result of being able to have anything they like? On other hand from my experience abundance decreases desirability.

        I see lots of great ideas coming out of Venus project and your comments but the challenges seem to be too big in today's world and our knowledge of everything. Also energy, resources and area are limited and that limits what can be done.

        Btw, I am being inspired by your posts in this forum and I will learn more about the project when I can. I hope that project does not depend only one man to guide its vision and direction?
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          Feb 21 2011: i aint got much time but i want to answer this one , in 'playful' note :)

          How do you measure if an artist contributed enough to the society - he can go clean sewers for 2 hours/day and have plenty of time & resources to work his art (i would) he'd be good in no time!! (unless you consider misery as muse hahaha). did i mention he will also have food, shelter, transportation, electricity etc for free??

          How do you measure if dentist makes enough repairs - you count the people who reported of his aid helpful this month and measure their satisfaction in various terms. you may also count the number of people left untreated. i'm only guesing yet that should give a hint so i'd look for the answers there.

          athletes can clean sewers 2 hours /day too - i'm using this 'extreme' example intentionaly cause i believe sewers will be cleaned by machines - not man (and if men is involved to some degree - well we got plenty of people who wish to artist or athlete or simply value freedom as i do)
          your imagination is somehat catastroph-ing a future where everybody want's a restaurant or that we should build a new one each time someone desires one. when i take care of my dogs i dont leave to food bag and let them eat - i take care of them. if a person wishes to open a restaurant - should he at least prove some experience by helping and learning from someone who already owns one (that's similar today). that person along with all the "free diners' (guests) can support his wish - wouldn't that be a great indicator for what is desired, what is the popular demand? and what a great way to interact and grow :)

          if you could travel the world, enjoy its diversity of places, people activities - for free!! would you choose to make 10 kids? would everybody too?
          please read my recent reply to Krisztian too if you dont mind :) i think there's something special for you there too :) appreciated - thanks again Zdenek
          p.s. maybe one day we won't event need to ask how much is enough.. who knows??
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      Feb 18 2011: Concerning the money, with technology factories can be built ( powered by renewable energy, of course (: ) producing all the products people need: food, medicine, clothes, gadgets etc... How much? Instead of bankers, there can be statisticians who can determine how much of what should we produce, and have instead of shops- storage facilities where you can come and take what ever you need and how much you need. Being all free and enough for everybody and even more, there can be no greed. And who would be doing the stats, you think cause it's boring? Well i would, cause i love it,hehe... Surgeons or some of their jobs will be replaced also with machines which are more precise than a human.

      People would be free doing whatever they love and not worry could they be able to live from such a job. For example, i am fortunate to be interested in a field which many people dislike, mathematics. But my friend who loves acting and is good in it (being on stage since she was 10 or 11) can't go to acting faculty cause it's expensive and she has no right or better yet any connections. Her second pick was spanish language and she could do it only in cities far from our (we live in Serbia, city of Leskovac), meaning more money for travelling and living expenses. So she chose psychology close to our city. Why can't she, as many other people, do what she wants and enjoys it? Because of money and corrupted society. And people who are not doing anything? Try to do nothing for some time and see how you feel.I know i wouldn't be so happy. To make the world a better place? I think there is no better feeling than that, even in some small activity which you like and no one can take it away from you.

      Then the food. Where should we produce it and how? We can grow vegetables and fruits on places the grow best. Every region has it's own specialty of food. You want Mexican dish? Take a Maglev train and from Europe, you ll be there in 1-2 hours and have the original.
      • Feb 20 2011: I agree that so many people are working in jobs they don't like and their talents are wasted. I also agree that theoretically the society could be restructured so that we manage everything better. We are wasting so much in military, consumerism etc.

        However, I think it is too early to be able to realize such ideals. First, we do not have yet the technology to allow us to replace surgeons etc. We also do not have technology to calculate and handle the needs of billions of people having trillions of interactions and needs every day. I think we are at least a few decades away.

        While you and me find it difficult to not do anything, some people will be happy to do nothing. Perhaps better education and support will help them to be motivated. I am not sure.

        While The Venus Project can reduce wasted money like military spending, it can also create new waste. How would the society decide that it is ok for someone to help build e.g. a nuclear reactor. School education is not enough to ensure that the job one has does really fit that person's abilities. I think that every person has certain limitations (physical and mental) that restrict the type of jobs they would love to do but can't. Now imagine the eager but under-qualified people that might do lots of unintentional damage to the economy and even get people killed in accidents. How this will be handled?

        I lived 25 years under communism so I could observe people's attitudes toward free stuff and low expectations at work. I am not saying what the Venus Project stands for is impossible or same as communism but I think it will be much harder than expected for some of the reasons I mentioned above.
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          Feb 21 2011: But we do have machines that are made to replace surgeons, and it only can be more improved. (you can check online)Machines are there to be created and i think we have good scientists and engineers that can make it happen, not in decades but maybe in one decade if people are willing to live like that.Enabling them is the problem. We also have the technology for geoterma forcel that is not approved because it doesn't make profit.

          I agree that education and support can make a change in people, because i believe everybody has a talent for something, and children in right environment can flourish.

          Well, nuclear reactors won't be built because it's bad for environment, and we have ability to use renewable resources such as wind, water, and biggest is geotermal force. And jobs, i think if someone can't do proper job, he/she can always contribute somehow. Maybe someone want to be a doctor and can't make it, he/she can be a nurse or something like that which also is about helping people in need.Who will monitor? People that are professionals in their field. How come there is no money and corruption they will make decisions for benefit of people and not have other drives.

          I was also living under communism and i understand you there. I thought about it, but still in communism there was a desire to get to better position so u can have more money and such. And every -ism has corruption. And here everybody has equal rights to everything you can think about. No one can't give me something i can't get. There is the difference.

          Although i wish for it, i wonder how it will work. But we grew up with different understandings and values, and this is something no society ever had in history (maybe stone age was closest). Try to imagine you as child seeing people around you happy, doing something they like, no greed, no jealousy, and you can try anything to do and see what you like:dancing, painting,reading...And choose what you feel you belong to and be part of the world.
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      Feb 17 2011: 3 words: "Amen to that!!"
      be welcome to post, respond and inspire others, friend - we aspire to the about same thing :) just as millions of others, and counting, who are familiar with the concepts
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    Feb 17 2011: Hello Ron,

    Could you explain why you think money is not necessary?
    (To add some rhetoric: can you make a distinction between a tool and how it can be used?)

    I can agree on the avoiding poverty and war and trying to create abundance...
    Most people do.

    If you've seen Rosling's talks, you might have noticed that more people live without war and in abundance than ever before... and it is not getting worse.

    I would agree with more technocracy in this world.
    I doubt we can and wish to abolish democracy altogether...

    (p.s.: I'm a bit skeptical about the zeitgeist & Venus project, think there is some pseudoscience and quackery involved)
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      Feb 17 2011: Hello Christophe :) welcome to the thread

      let me start out by thanking you for 'asking' that question rather then "shooting" words and opinions at me - this opens a dialog and we can talk with each other rather then at each other... this way, we can learn from each other.

      if that's OK with you, i'll address the topics you mentioned in a "bottom-up" manner:

      the zeitgeist & Venus project
      it is completely natural and you have every right to be skeptical - it is the healthy response towards a "ground-shaking" idea, i wouldn't expect any mindful person to react otherwise. fact is - so was i when i first heard about it. and then i reminded myself of something my father used to tell me many many times: "your mind, like a parachute, works best when it is open...". those ideas are more of a guide to me - not accurately designed solutions. it is not science - it is a suggestion and a proposal, a great one IMHO, that we start designing this kind of a future for us.

      i believe it is time for it to evolve, allowing greater participation of the people using technological means. and we should vote for solutions - not parties or presidents. but i am no scholar in this area so...

      Rosling's talks
      simply put in the words of Yogi Bear: "Predicting is a tricky business...especially if it involves the future" so i got nothing clever to add to that. maybe I'm just reading the wrong newspapers and am misinformed.

      avoiding poverty and war
      most people do agree... which leaves one to wonder who are those who don't - my guess - whoever makes great profit out of it - the military industry leaders, the banks giving loans to the poor, politicians and highly ranked army officials...those are very very powerful people, lobbied together in today's world - and they all got allot to lose if those things vanish

      which leads me to answering you first question but having 140 characters left - I'll spread it in a separate response that follows this one (sorry, and thanks for following)
      • Feb 20 2011: I agree that people should be more involved in decisions thou there is also a danger with it. If people vote for a solution and they have little knowledge about the problem and about each solution then we might end up with just common sense solution that will be damaging to the economy, society or environment.

        Many politicians do research their topics, are themselves experts or discuss it with experts. We would have to ensure all people that vote truly understand the issue and all consequences.
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      Feb 17 2011: so why do i think we do not need money (anymore)
      you've made it easy for me in some way cause you have already made the distinction between the tool and the usage. you reminded me that when a smoker 'needs a cigarette' and smokes he does so cause it is his only way to get something - relaxation, a break, confidence boost etc. clearly his intention is good - it is the behavior that is harmful cause there are so many other, more healthy ways to fill this same intention
      as a tool, money has it pros and cons. ask yourself "what purpose does money serves in our society?" and if you find better ways to fill this same purpose, in a way that does not hurt the society (the poor get poorer and the rich get richer). it is common to believe that money motivates people - i think that's a misinterpretation - feelings motivate people - fear of hunger, desire for new cloths,cars, houses, TV sets etc. in the future - different feelings will generate different motivations cause everybody will live like Bill Gates :)

      today, whenever technology achieves a functioning machine or tool that replaces a human being - this person is being fired, laid off. no wonder people fear technology
      but if this is the path ...if we can (and we can) design a technological tools that provide us with food, water, energy, housing, transportation with minimum need for laboring man, tools that work 24/7 requiring no payment or pension funds... creating abundance for us all - we won't need money, or at least we will not use it the way it is used today.
      personally i think everybody is entitled for those things and if we can provide them in abundance it will be meaningless to charge money from hardly working population (because machines will work).
      so not only do i believe it's unneeded - i strongly believe it is undesired given somuch better alternatives.

      Fresco does so much better work than me in explaining his ideas - i can only ask that you give the 94 yo man and his 70yo ideas a decent chance :) THANKS
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        Feb 18 2011: Ron,

        Thanks for your elaborate reply.

        Before I'm going in to depth of your arguments, I think you are on the one hand predicting what the future will be like, and on the other hand using the Yogi bear argument to avoid thinking about future predictions backed on facts and verifiable observations... I think your argument that you might be reading wrong newspapers is probable

        On with the money thing.
        (we do live above the quality level of any medieval king)

        The cigarette argument: I can't follow the metaphor, because nicotine dependency can be met with other products that contain nicotine. Money is not an addiction in the same way.
        "needing money" is not the same as "needing nicotine"

        For me, money is an interesting concept that allows to quantify value to something.
        From this perspective it is hard for me to think money as a bad thing.
        (which doesn't mean I don't see that money is and can be seen differently)

        I think poverty will not be solved when money is taken out of the picture.
        Would we be more sharing? Would our greediness be reduced? I doubt so.

        But maybe you could elaborate on the "so much better alternatives"?
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          Feb 18 2011: Christophe,
          about predicting
          tricky as it is it is a mental practice common to us all. i meant to say not that my guess is better than another but rather something of the sort "many guesses are as good as mine". yet not any thought referring to the future is a prediction. i regard my references to the future more as a vision or aspiration. and as such - something to design and plan for. the Venus project is not the future - it is suggestion to design such one, which is doable and had been so for some tens of years now (technologically speaking). there is however one crucial exception - my predictions of the human behavior. this is an area i am well familiar with, i help people overcoming difficulties, provide them with inspiration and mental means to better themselves in many ways and experience better futures - that's my thing and i am very good at it. that's why i am very certain that in a future resembling Venus people will behave in a profoundly different way than is common today. i can go on about it for hours :)

          we do live above the quality level of any medieval king - true, for some, yet isn't that over-generalizing? do we ALL live like that? are people all over the globe share this experience? so can i assume people in the future will live better than bill gates? can we plan for it to be a global experience? i think so :)

          money is indeed used to quantify value of things. things that are not yet abundant. if we manage to create abundance for all in ways that hardly involve (if any) labor... what meaning do you think money would have? if we totally automate processes of house building (they print houses - did you know?), agriculture (hydrophones), and any other manufactured production... should we still need people to work 45 hrs/week just for the sake of paying them so they can go shopping stuff nobody got paid for to manufacture? people would probably work - but not just to make a living - I've detailed my thoughts on that in my responses here (continued)
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          Feb 18 2011: for example - a person might open a restaurant cause he loves to cook. he won't have to risk his life savings, and whenever people arrive he serve them food, his best food. another might choose to be a doctor cause he is fascinated with the subject. he won't have to take heavy student loans or work for living as he studies. other might like to contribute to science, explore physics or chemistry, or design transportation means, or commodities, or educate. no to make a living or secure their future, not to suffice some greed, but to contribute and enrich. cause they'll have everything they need in abundance and free
          i dont have ALL the answers - nobody yet does - it is a proposal for an emerging(!!!) society that values the well being of all its members more than anything else! one that shifts from nationalism to earthism.
          again - technologically it is all possible now - i am very educated in science and technology so i believe so.

          now i gave the cigarette metaphor - the analogy is not the addiction, but the lack of other and better alternatives (though some people are addicted to money making, they feel great if they make more, they suffer if they loose and are very obsessed about it daily).

          when a parent yells or slaps a kid - the intention is good (educate,calm,shush him?) the behavior isn't so. a person over eats (behaves) to gain comfort (intention), when someone bites his fingernails, or avoids social events.. all those behaviors serve that person's good intention in a very poor way. had he had a better, alternative way to behave that achieve that same result or suffice that same intention-no doubt he'd choose the better one.
          so whatever purpose money serves today - with all its pros and cons - let us engineer a new way to get the same intention and serve the same purpose in a better way. better in that that it won't have so many cons and way more pros - that is what i mean "better alternatives" and Venus is "The One" IMHO.
          i hope I'm clearer now :)
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          Feb 18 2011: and one last thing about greed - in developed societies the vast majority of people come to learn how many things they are lacking and cannot afford. this is where greed originates, it is very scarce in societies where member are pretty much equal and not flashed with commercials on daily basis.
          there is no gene for greed - it is an outcome of growing up in society that creates (and even encourages) great differences among its members. did you ever wonder why so many are desperate to be unique yet at the same they wish everybody was just like them??? isn't that a paradox?
          Christophe - i understand there's a huge gap in perception and consciousness when such remote ideas are being introduced. it took me some time to accept the fact that the venus project is feasible and doable. may i advise you deepen your familiarity with teh subject, let aside,-just for the time being- any limiting believes and let curiosity guide you instead? if this idea for designing such a future is in fact "the greatest one that ever came to be" :) wouldn't you like to know more about it, dont you think it deserves a decent, proper consideration? this isn't John Lennon's "Imagine" - this is a 70 years old idea, originating in the brilliant mind of a warm, intelligent person whom i genuinely believe cares a lot for ALL mankind........
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        Feb 18 2011: Ron,

        It is hard to stay brief if ones passion burns...
        But the result is that I did not take the effort to read all that you said.

        1. I'm looking into Jacque Fresco... Interesting person and original views.
        2. I do think that everybody should try and improve the world on the aspect he/she thinks need to be approved. (For me that is enlightenment and obtaining knowledge). Pro se quisque. The name I chose for my ideal world-view is splendorism, and it might be similar to the venus idea...
        3. In star trek there is no money either... and within a company there is not much monetary transaction (often free coffee and lunch and activities)... so there might be some suggestions
        4. skimming your writings I did not see alternatives to money.. so if you wrote them, please rephrase them shortly
        5. I think that, given more time and maybe a better way of communication than this, we could agree on many things (probably most)
        6. I work part time, don't have much money, but I tend to live a happy life in abundance...
        7. I will always remain a skeptic, so while exploring the ideas I will probably point out the point upon which I disagree... for the moment, eliminating money still seems foolish, but it might come to pass
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          Feb 20 2011: ture :) it is hard to stay brief. i am not looking for the shortest path to answering question - in my answers i wish to provide the understandings i already have and share withe so many of the venus advocates

          i appreciate your 'open mind'-ness on the subject. i promise if some better idea will come along i will adopt and support it. at the moment - this is the one (at least for me)

          i love the term 'splendorism' and will use it
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          Feb 20 2011: and the alternative mentioned is not 'just' for the money - it is shifting from monetary-based economy to resource-based economy in a society that prioritizes the well being of the whole over the 'capitalistic' empowerment of the few. thus, harnessing technology in order to create abundance and the freedom from labor. because today money is a way to quantify value and the more scarce the item and more desired - the more value it has. if housing, transportation, food etc will be in abundance, if people will hardly work for living(!) these things will slowly loose the monetary value associated with or calculated for them.

          we won't just eliminate money - that is not the goal but the by-product - health, and well being for ALL mankind while preserving the environment is the goal.

          these concepts require either that i write llllooooonnnnggg answers, or you make yourself familiar with the vision (which i encourage you to do - it is lovely)

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    Feb 16 2011: you're an atheist so I don't think you'll like my answer but I'm of the opinion that a corporeal God exists and lives in a society of perfection (basically the society and situation you mentioned in your question). to achieve such an existence ourselves we must as individuals and as a society be like him. that's as simple as I can make it.
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      Feb 16 2011: you've made it perfectly clear and well put - i totally agree with you :)

      corporeal God exists - though i believe it is not a single, biblical deity that counts my thoughts and acts just to give me the balance in the afterlife.

      i strongly believe that the ancients Gods exist, they are advance and master the physics in ways we are yet to discover, yet they are mortal and not omnipotent ...their interest in us is totally different that the way the bible and religious institutes interpret it - that what makes me an atheist, i hope you now understand

      i like your way of thinking :)
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        Feb 16 2011: yeah, I understand that totally. I disagree on some points but I totally get it.

        my religion - Mormonism has highlighted its similarities with other Christians for years and years. and it's true we're Christian. but there are some striking differences. we don't adhere to the creeds of a trinity or incorporeal God created by scholars hundreds of years after the advent of the Savior.

        So in speaking with a classical philosopher I was called an atheist a few times as well. this may really interest you actually:

        Now back to your discussion at hand: in order to "achieve a world with no money, poverty, wars over resources, and abundance for all" many advances must be made and they have to be made in proportion. people must become less greedy as the ability to find and disseminate resources improves. people must become more forgiving as the ability to make tremendous mistakes for technology goes up. and so on and so forth.

        Ultimately what is often referred to as a person's spiritual side or spiritual life (morality, altruism, intelligence, etc.) must increase and improve at the same rate the physical side (transportation, technology) improves. if they do not grow at the same rate growing pains (wars, famines etc.) are inevitable.

        you might enjoy a book by parley p. Pratt entitled "key to the science of the theology"

        also if you're really into the topic of heavenly utopia read the works of Hugh Nibley such as "work we must but the lunch is free"
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          Feb 17 2011: well you stated out correctly "WHAT" needs to happen in order to... it is a spiritual quest of consciousness indeed, and i could not care less for each persons motivations (the "WHY"s) for it as long as we are all aligned at achieving it

          to me the big question always is, and always has been, "HOW"!! HOW can we make it happen?? i would appreciate your thoughts about that too.

          your quote:
          "Ultimately what is often referred to as a person's spiritual side or spiritual life (morality, altruism, intelligence, etc.) must increase and improve at the same rate the physical side (transportation, technology) improves. if they do not grow at the same rate growing pains (wars, famines etc.) are inevitable. "

          is just so right - i can only hope you live by these words and promote such ways of thinking, feeling and behaving (that's HOW you do it).

  • Apr 23 2011: this not possible by humans.
    this possible just when humans be like animals.
    animals have no money, poverty, wars over resources, and abundance for all

    but some times nature has not enough food for animals and they have a natural competition. this can not be considered war.
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    Feb 21 2011: Your question assumes that "abundance for all" is ideal. I suspect the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Lao-Tse and many other spiritual leaders might disagree. "Abundance for all" is not the typical path to enlightenment. Eliminating poverty, hunger, and strife sounds good, but they are arguably part of the color of life and potentially of greater value than we are inclined to believe. Just a point for consideration.
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      Feb 21 2011: I too suspect the Buddha, the Dalai Lama, Lao-TseI might disagree - at first :) i doubt open minded and caring people like them would hold on to such believes only to keep their reasoning of how enlightenment can be obtained - i believe there are many ways to get enlightened, this one hasn't been tried yet. and my personal opinion is that it provided a very fertile ground for it to grow. also something to consider isn't it? i do wonder what they'd have to say about the subject....

      i consider your point - your thoughts are well appreciated - i think i know what you mean and i fully agree - not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted (Mark Twain - quoted here already)
      and BTW - i assume abundance for all in a non polluting manner, aimed for peace and the well being of every person on this planet maybe not ideal, yet is a huge improvement. one that we can achieve. one we should aspire to. be welcome to join :)
      i think Buddha would call it "[the perceptional shift from 'me' and 'them' to 'me' and 'us']" (my words)
      thanks Drew :)
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    Feb 17 2011: i wish to add - just cause money wont be in use doesn't mean that people shouldn't earn the right to feed or house or travel by contributing in meaningful ways to society - there will be means and measures to that, maybe a very very reasonable threshold or benchmark, reachable by all but the exceptional (handicapped,ill,old,young?), that will entitle people of those basic rights for the fundamentals of existence and fair living.
    people will likely have very different motivation strategies guiding them in what to do, what to learn and how to use their time.
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      Feb 20 2011: money is an indicator of how much valuable a certain resource is. the less you have of something and the more you want of something, the higher the price will be. higher price causes a shift in our resource allocation, we will move resources to producing that item in question, and we will try alternate lines of production that needs no or less of that item.

      money is not goal. money is not ruling. money is not motivation. money is *information*.

      i wonder what kind of people suggest elimination of information.
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        Feb 20 2011: you are very right - money is information. in today's world it is needed. but it is not just information - people do not aspire to be 'rich' just to be informed and these motives are harmful to so many others who are not so well 'informed'.

        in the future we might not need it or have better ways of obtaining this information without binding it to people's labor, or detach it from supplying the needs of men and women. mayve it'll only be used for luxuries or something like that. not food, housing, transportation or health care.

        it is not the information that should be eliminated but the overall effect that comes along with the meaning and implications of having money in the bank or not.
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          Feb 21 2011: wait a second here. so you don't actually against money, but something fundamentally different. you are against the desire to be rich.

          what rich means? in my book, rich means someone who has a lot of property. if someone is smart, or has good ideas, he can multiply his property through transformation of existing stuff to something even more valuable, and through voluntary exchange. nothing is wrong with transforming someone's own property to something else, and there is nothing wrong with exchange. so the wealth gathered that way is also perfectly good.

          if you want to prevent the accumulation of that kind of wealth, you need to take away the property created through perfectly ethical and legal means. you need to deny the right of the owner for his own property. that is what you want?

          if so, say it directly. this is nothing new. this is marxism in new clothes.
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        Feb 21 2011: oh Krisztian... you started so well, you said all the 'right' thing... i was smiling, cause i begin to see a dialog. then you used the M word (Marxism)... and that's OK cause this is a very very common misinterpretation:
        you've heard me say everybody would be rich as bill gates is, rich by that exact definition you gave. it doesn't mean that all property should be private but that's not what i mean at all! i mean that we make ways(!) that everybody can go on a yacht, live in great great houses, have great transportation means, enjoy the best items and services technology can offer and with an amazing decrease in pollution, labor and wars.if you read my writings all over the place here you'll understand why it would all be so. please - do so.
        sure people's wealth and property was achieved ethically and legally, surely that's a generalization - you cannot deny that - yet let it be - it doesn't matter. it was legal and ethic to own slaves, kill Jews or Armenians, it was illegal and unethical for woman to vote. legal and ethical are not laws of physics, they are not carved in stone and it is also legal and ethical for the people to decide democratically what they want, plan THEIR future and if the majority of mankind decides that wealth of the few is less desired than abundance of the whole then sorry buddy: "though luck".hope they'd do it peacfuy. surely you are not against democracy and free choice are you? think about it, as a book writer wouldn't wish that your need for food, shelter, electricity, water health care and transportation be detached from your current muse, artistic competition or publisher's contract/fees? either over-printing or under-printing a book?? PAY for advertisements only that you could make a living? have you bought your mansion and yacht yet cause i haven't, I'm never likely to plan a yacht trip for the family. or enjoy the best of technology and the moods of peaceful times. am i a bad person cause i wish all that TO EVERYBODY?it is doable!
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          Feb 22 2011: you shifted the goalpost once more. first it was the abolishment of money. then it was the abolishment of richness. now it is giving richness to all. will it ever end? or whatever i say, you simply move to another game, and claim that nothing happened so far?

          i'm not willing to walk that path. previous topics are to be closed. money is a wonderful tool, and all the symbolic attachments of being material or profit oriented makes not much sense. that is my statement about money. about rich people: if they use they own property, work and legal exchange of goods, whatever rich they are, it is good, and noone has any right to touch their property, just because they have more. and my final point was: stop dressing up the old guy in new clothing. this is pure socialism rephrased.
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        Feb 21 2011: thinking abit more - i opened a question here Krisztian, not a debate (though i'd join one if you open), a question, i asked - 'HOW' we can - and you are giving your - 'WHY' we can't - answers. surely i have my WHY we can answers but they are equally weighed to yours - they are based on my personal use of imagination, my personal predictions based on [whatever] of mine.

        you are educated so it is not that there is ignorance or 'narrow mind'ness in you, there are great imagination and believes missing but these are not ignorance or 'narrow mind'ness. scholars imagined why it should be impossible for heavy things to fly or float, they wrote books and articles about it.
        if Einstein's right and imagination is more valuable than knowledge than you better make yourself richer, way richer with greater imagination you can imagine the ways, the HOWs of making everything come to be, with unlimited believes you can achieve everything cause if you believe something is possible, OR if you believe it is im-possible..guess what - you're right! and the worse is not to believe at all.
        never doubt the ability of a small, determined group of people to change the world. in fact - it is the only thing that ever did it (Margaret Mede)
        i work with people every day, i aid them in bettering their future and i am damn good at it - imagination and belief is what makes the core difference between poor and rich life experience and great or lousy futures. and guess what - they too are not carved in store or inhenerted from teh lawas of physics - you can - change them now, at will.
        we either make ourselves happy or miserable -the amount of work is the same....!!!
        ask and you shall be answered :) i mean that in the most friendly manner there is :)
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          Feb 22 2011: so i'm not welcome here? you want a peaceful place to discuss these ideas free from criticism? strange words when we discuss a movement that tries to engage in changing public opinion. maybe not? maybe they just want enough masses behind them to approach politics? maybe they are just another wannabe power group?
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          Feb 23 2011: Concerning your last comment : If you don't know about some society it doesn't mean you have to refuse it. Democracy is same as any other -ism and gives you false feeling that you have a choice.
          And my circle is the same as anywhere in the world, no one can escape it. People have to be bad to survive here and that is not a good thing. And don't pretend this is not going on. You are just one of many people that won't admit there is a big elephant in the room and being selfish, looking no one but youself and focusing to get rich while stomping on poor people.
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        Feb 22 2011: People grew up in such society, that money is the only way to judge a person.People who have money want more and socialize with other money-people, and poor people are doing anything to get money so they can be among 1st group. Either way, more money you have more accepted you are, no matter how did u get that money.If you like it, fine.

        In this idea, you can have your own property: clothes, food, appliances etc and no one can it from you because no one is short of it. Why to be different from other by amount the money or things you have? Why don't have some special talent or skills that will make you special in your own way?

        And as soon people hear something new that is different, there is THE comment : It's communism (or socialism, which ever you country hates most). In any -ism, people can get wealthy and have control over small people, get greedy and corruptive . Just because this idea is about sharing doesn't mean it is communism. And people don't like sharing, that is a fact (well most of them) because there is always fear or poverty coming so we have to save everything and maybe get someone else's.
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          Feb 22 2011: well put, though i personally know that in order for people to be corrupted - someone need to corrupt them. people are corrupting others.

          and communism (which people naturally object) is not bad for itself. its past implementations are awful and horrifying because it was never based on resource based economy and detached from the monetary systems. this is why the common associations that result from knowing about these attempts are negative. i too feel that way and would never ever wish to see it happening again. that is why i oppose communism as we know it and avoid naming or cataloging venus with existing names and categories. it is something completely new!! and nobody can tell if it'd work or not.
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          Feb 22 2011: i don't know that society. in the society i live, a whole array of personal traits come way before how rich you are. so maybe you just need to change your social circles.

          communism, marxism, socialism and all the like are fundamentally unworkable. you follow up on that topic, i recommend reading Ludwig von Mises: Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. in that 1920 book, mises predicted the fall of the soviet union, because without the market process, it is impossible to organize the economy.
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    Feb 16 2011: science and technology, together with the free exchange of goods an ideas, can create wealth. this is nothing new. however it never was and never will the goal to provide anything for free. we all agree that famine is not anymore a problem in the west, and we all have abundant amount of food. but it still costs us money, even if very cheap compared to the incomes. we don't need free food, we want wealth. enough to easily buy food anytime we want. that is the goal, not free goods.

    price has a meaning. price is the most important factor in the economy, it tells you how much resources are required to produce the item. it allows us to decide what is the best use for a resource. it allows us to decide which possible production pathways to choose for optimal allocation of resources.

    the venus project is a joke. absolutely lacking the most basic economic knowledge.
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      Feb 16 2011: thanks for your thoughts :)
      to me, the word 'economy' means equilibrium, balanced and sustainable use of resources in a way that presenrves our environment and social well being. you dont have to agree with me or change your mind, yet it seems the facts point out that there is nothing of that nature in our current existance - children are being forced to work in many un-developed countries, our environment is suffering ongoing damage and is at critical risk, wars rage in so many places , resources are being used for the benefit of the capital markets - is that economy? sure the west seems 'OK' ... untill 'economic crisis hits the markets, people loose their homes, jobs and nearly everybody suffers

      you say price has meaning. so? many things have meaning... and many have higher meaning - peace, health - mark twain used to say "not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted". you sound educated so i assume you haven't given it the proper consideration, if to you the Venus project is a joke then i sure take comfort in knowing that the people dedicated to making this vision come to be are serious about it - so that you, me and our kids can laugh from dusk till dawn when it does.

      believe it or object it (but why??) - time will tell if we did it right or wrong. it has nothing to do with what is possible.

      all the best
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        Feb 17 2011: economy is never in the state of equilibrium, so that parallel is strange. if you look up "evenly rotating economy", you will see how weird and unnatural an equilibrium economy is. not only in economic sense, but in the most general common sense.

        children are not forced to work in undeveloped countries. children can work in order to survive in undeveloped countries. child labor is not the problem, it is the symptom of the real problem. the real problem is that they are undeveloped. their production is not enough to provide enough goods to maintain a living standard that is natural to you. but 300 years ago, all children worked, because no countries had enough production to spare the labor force represented by the young age groups. as capital accumulates (capital = machines, materials, buildings), we can work less and still have a much richer life. that's why our children are not working anymore.

        very nice twain quote. luckily, money is of enormous importance, and can be easily measured as well. better take care of it, better preserve it for the next generations.
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          Feb 17 2011: hello again Krisztian
          well i did look for the dictionary definition of the word economy and it is not a state of equilibrium - it might be i misinterpreted the other use of this term when translated to my native language. however, when it comes to sustainability - it is very much as i mentioned. the sustainability of our planet's resources, men women and kids is in question because of the way we use it - and by definition it is not economic to the whole..maybe it is for the few.
          but these are mere 'word-bashing', and i stated that to me(!) the word economy... i initiated a question - not a debate.
          other then that - many of what you say is somewhat true yet much is probably your personal model of the world. if some 300 years ago a kid in india/china/vietnam worked some hours in the field with friends and family... how can one compare it to 16 hr shifts in a sweatshop so that citizens of developed countries can buy their 2011 models of phones cloths etc. and the only reason is monetary-economy for the few: that kid is way way more chipper than the adult doing the same job in europe/usa (cause over there no kid would work - it is illegal). this is not due to some global caring decision - these are private business owners fueling this phenomena solely so their business can increase the profit margins. and they don't care if their country man are out of work..

          please read my other responses, mainly to Christophe who kindly asked me why do i believe we do not need money anymore and i answered to him at my best attempt why we should aspire to that (because we can)
          i accept your premise that money is very important to you as long as you acknowledge that this is a very personal statement - money by itself is money - it is you who gives the meaning of importance, many share a very different opinion. there are millions(!) of zeitgeist and venus advocates out there who disagree with you
          mankind can achieve everything-i strongly believe it! we can make the Venus vision be! :)
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        Apr 23 2011: Money is nothing else but a system to make exchange of goods and services easier. It is based on trust or the believe that someone in the future will accept it in a new trade. Price is just a sign indicating the intrinsic value given by people subjectively. It can change from time-to-time..
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      Feb 22 2011: Economy is artificial. It is made by and for few people to control large groups with money, which is also fake product. Face it. Just because you learned about it and there are thousands of books about it, doesn't mean it's good. Look at the world and your precious West , USA for example, there are 6 million homeless people in USA. If this is a working economy and i think you ll join them on street one day or among ones in higher position who will do the business under the desk.
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        Feb 22 2011: i stopped bothering with this case - if experience is a teacher, i guess he'll distort most of what you say, ignore the rest and then explain to you why your ideas are narcsistic-marxistic-socialistic-communistic-twisted-anarchist-evil-violent and will never-ever-ever come to be. and i always say "simply because somebody else has a different opinion doesn't mean you have to change yours" so i let him be. my mind stands still as my truth speaks from a quite place.

        there are many others who participate in this thread - which posed a HOW question - are asking genuine questions, wish to learn and respond in a welcoming and friendly mannerism - but don't take my word for it - have a look at our correspondences yourself and make your own mind. you'll notice the exceptional right away.
        "i don't need to speak for the filth - the filth speaks for itself" (Dick Gregory) is pretty good metaphor for where he got me going after allllll my attempts to dialog and reason, because to me - if i keep doing the same thing and get the same disappointing result i try something else - i tried enough with many word, i got nothing more to say to him anymore so i haven't, nor will i until he earns my time and efforts - this is not an 'open-check' and right now the account is empty cause so far he hadn't.

        i do thank him for the lesson in "when enough is enough" - well learned and surely valuable.

        you, me and many others are supporting this great idea and vision, and there are plenty out there who have the flexibility of the mind and soul to consider our words for not solely for the opportunity to debunk, but rather to enrich themselves and learn how we humans can in fact practically start designing a wonderful future for the well being of all mankind (which is the original question).
        again - this is just my humble opinion.

        all the best my friend Elizabeta :)
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          Feb 22 2011: Hehe, true true :) You speak wise, my friend. But i didn't spend too many words on him and i get very defensive about this. But I agree there are no enough words for some people :)

          But we, the futurists (slash communists), will stick together and hoping, we ll see this idea in our life time or some part of it :)
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        Feb 22 2011: economy is surely artificial. it is made by man. let's say, the starting point of it is some 100,000 years ago, when our ancestors started to trade with each other. that was a winning move, and today, we eliminated most of the hardships those ancestors had to face.

        you are part of it. we all are part of it. you contribute your labor, and you receive a gigantic amount of wealth, that is unthinkable for other animals, or even our ancestors a few hundred years ago.

        number of books are pretty much irrelevant. what is relevant is understanding. either you understand how the economy works, or not. if you want to join the group that understands it, i recommend to start with the eye opening talk of matt ridley:

        if you plan to dig a little deeper, i highly recommend the easy-to-read introduction to economics by Gene Callahan: Economics for Real People.
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          Feb 23 2011: Come live in Serbia and live the economy you are fighting for. I dare you!
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          Feb 23 2011: Maybe in some ideal world you can acquire wealth from you labor.What about the coal miners that get minimal salary and have high risk of getting killed? What about cleaning ladies in hotels that they can't afford to stay in? What about nurses that can't afford to get treatment in the same hospital? What about all other people that can't get jobs but desperately want them. Because you are a programmer you can live very well, but not all of us can do it. I know many people that can't live from their talent so they have to settle for something else only to survive.

          Only people that benefit from this economy can speak well about it.
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        Feb 23 2011: @Vanja Cakić: free market capitalism in serbia? that is new to me. lemme see. budget 12% of gdp, good. social democratic and socialist parties ruling? not good. unemployment 20%, not good. public debt low, good. high taxes, not good. it would be nice to see how regulated the economy is. high tax rate is a bad sign. i don't know about red tape and corruption, but a very quick google survey showed bad things.

        overall conclusion: no, serbia is not the state i want to live in.
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          Feb 23 2011: high tax rate is awful, absolutely awful - ask the Swedish people
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        Feb 23 2011: @Elizabeta Petrovic: a coal miner in the usa earns like 20 times the average salary of people in nepal or kenya. a coal miner today earns much much more than a coal miner 100 years ago. that is what capitalism gives us. if we continue this way, a coal miner will earn even more in the future, and a nepalese worker will also earn many times what he makes today.

        any attack against capitalism is an attack against this progress.
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          Feb 23 2011: and any support for capitalism you made is an attack again the process we describe of making machines mine for coal that'd would be used mostly for making BBQs cause energy will be produced in non-polluting, clean and efficient process thus a support for a process forcing people to labor and polluting the globe. kudos
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          Feb 23 2011: Omg, you are actually comparing miners in usa and nepal. did you compare the prices too? do u know how hard is to get medical treatment in usa? for anyone? unless they have 100 000 a year salary? what about firemen who got killed for helping at 9 11? they can't get treatment, it's not government's job. and soldiers who have high suicide rate? and poor education? did u google that from 30 oecd, usa in 25th place in education.ccc....
          and 20 times more is actually barely a minimum wage in usa, plus they get ill from that job and of course no money for medicine. Go be a gold miner or firemen there and see how that works for you, if it's so great.
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      Feb 23 2011: Been reading through your comments Krisztian. All very interesting.

      Was just wondering - do you see any benefit to a mixed economy or are you hard-core libertarian?

      Any role for government funding for:
      . Social security (retirement, survivor's benefits, disability)
      . Health care
      . Education

      And the issue of concentration of wealth. Any problem with that becoming more and more pronounced?
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        Feb 23 2011: my position: let's test. if i was in charge, i would one by one dismantle government functions, and see how the market can provide. allow for some sort of opt-out when possible, and see if the state solution can be outperformed by private firms. if so, government service can be dropped. there has to be a transition period to allow for the discovery process to kick in.

        also i see various degrees of government involvement. just a few examples:
        1. total government solution
        2. government is one competitor on market
        3. compulsory participation for everyone, but multiple providers (like the swedish healthcare model)
        4. regulated, subsidized market
        5. zero intervention, free market

        your examples:
        - social security: retirement maximum on a basic level. like a fixed small amount to everyone. if you want more, save. disability is a tricky one. we need to see if donations can solve it, and on what level.
        - health care: maximum a minimal level of state service for those who got in trouble. private health insurance must be fine, after prices go down when government intervention ends.
        - education: ideal solution would be abolishment of all related laws, and state would be one competitor on an open market. a second option would be a fix fund per student model. every schools gets the same amount of subsidies from the state.

        concentration of wealth: i see zero problem with that if it happens through voluntary participation of all parties. i'm thoroughly against the military industrial machine though.

        but i feel we're hijaking the conversation here. maybe we should create a separate one?
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          Feb 23 2011: Great idea. How about something to the effect:

          "What is be best mix of government and private industry and how do we find it?" or something like that?

          How about kicking it off yourself (I've already got one going)?