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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simply put - politics is obsolete (need i elaborate??).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
Ron

Topics: venus project
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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:

        www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex.html

        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)?

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