Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Your favorite books and links
Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

This just isn't true.
I do not say that things cannot be changed for the better.

Merely that "better" in itself is a term that is gamed. Part of that game is the difference between GDP and the measures that Alphaville is looking for.

(Spend some time with Daniel Smachtenberger for reference points to the last paragraph.)

In the end, there will always be a short end of the stick. Capitalism or Socialism, and everything in between, someone is always more equal, and someone far less so.

"The master's tools will not will never dismantle the master's house."

I'm just saying we need new tools. And with the changes in recent years, I have some ideas on how to make some. But I have been wrong, before.

I'm hoping others will work on their own ideas for toolmaking.

.....

Now may be a good time to remind y'all, that I'm insane. :shock: If you find my thoughts disturbing, feel free to focus on that.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Riggerjack:

Capitalism is very good at producing more stuff, but it has little ability to produce more innate human capital. So, if you measure progress by stuff produced/consumed per capita, capitalism makes everybody better off stuff-wise. The rising tide lifts all boats etc. The problem is that more “stuff” has decreasing influence the higher you strive up Maslow’s Pyramid or any similar yet more complex model. So, for instance, a kid in a terrible zipcode in an affluent free market capitalist country is more likely to have as much access to educational technology ( stuff) as a kid in a great zipcode, but is less likely to have as much access to adults with high functional IQs as a poor kid in a poor socialist country. And at some point up Maslow’s Pyramid, actually fairly low, access to competent adults who care about you becomes more critical. That’s why I think, for instance, obsessive preoccupation with school lunches and other free “stuff” for poor kids is a ridiculous and harmful and lazy distraction. Much easier to drop a wrapped toy in Santa box than to give up some of the limited quality time you have for your own kids or towards your own free agency.

IOW, I agree that the problem is systemic, but I think it is currently getting worse in some ways BECAUSE it is getting better in other ways. Therefore, an economic collapse that dissolves zip codes might improve the opportunities for climbing to the top of the pyramid for low income kids although it will simultaneously increase the chance of dying or having less stuff.

User avatar
Jean
Posts: 1350
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Jean »

I wrote a longer post, but all i will resay, is that many kids are starving for contact with testostérone fueled adults. It's a pity for those kids that most ways of offering opportunities for such contact will leave you as a suspected child molester.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Jean:

In just about any context teaming up with an adult female will negate that problem.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

I agree that the problem is systemic, but I think it is currently getting worse in some ways BECAUSE it is getting better in other ways.
+1

There is nothing about positive sum games that invalidate the results of zero sum games, or vice versa.
The problem is that more “stuff” has decreasing influence the higher you strive up Maslow’s Pyramid or any similar yet more complex model.
Diminishing returns is real, and as fundamental a principle as any. So where would you put more school tax dollars in that scale of influence?

Because I agree with you that distribution of time with mentally/emotionally healthy adults is the truest predictor of success of a child. I think changing this would do more to fix our society's ills than any financial redistribution, or legislation.

But that would require changes that simply aren't in the current cards. The kaleidescope of misincentives that is our political system certainly couldn't do it in any effective way. And our education system is subject to the political system.

Again, I don't see calling for more of the same as anything other than refusal to acknowledge the less appealing outputs. We dismiss them with words like "unintended consequences, inefficiencies, or my favorite, Corruption".

We can't have industry without pollution, or mines without tailings. Odd how common those calling to capture economic externalities, want to use a political system, and ignore those externalities.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Riggerjack:

I agree with much of what you are saying. This thread has drifted a bit off topic. I am currently reading "Before the Collapse" by Ugo Bardi and "Learn to Think in Systems" by Rutherford. My brain has not digested this material yet, so the best I can suggest is that "Why Johnny Can't Read" is a certain type of social network problem for which I have not yet constructed a systems diagram that would allow me to suggest most appropriate leverage point :lol:

Obviously, coming up with a solution for the impending collapse of our entire eco-economic system is not going to be super easy either :(

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

Obviously, coming up with a solution for the impending collapse of our entire eco-economic system is not going to be super easy either :(
Ain't that the truth!

But I can't think of a better start than to try to focus on what else is left, after the historically preferred methods have been eliminated, and to cut my personal resource depletion going towards systems that will not improve the situation.

Tax dollars don't fix schools. Yes, better schools have more money, but they really have more of all resources. Focusing on the money differential is a red herring. It merely allows the money tree to be shaken as a mollification, when things get bad enough. And by then, more money can't buy a dent.

That is our system. More of the same won't help. This isn't a problem caused by taxpayers.

But letting go of an inner obligation to "fix" something so broken in any way I know how, is freeing. Freeing me to try to find something that isn't being tried by someone else. Freeing me to fail at the same.

At some point, one has to stop looking for one's keys under the street lamp, even though the light is better there.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“Riggerjack” wrote: At some point, one has to stop looking for one's keys under the street lamp, even though the light is better there.
I agree with this as general principle, but I’m not yet sure it applies to global climate/energy collapse. For instance, I’m a bit confused about why Jacob recommended that I should read Ugo Bardi, because his take is that it is still possible to make reasonably smooth transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2 ... e.html?m=1

IOW, Bardi would likely be in favor of my solar powered garden microbots project and also Biden’s green tech initiative. One cool thing about most renewable energy sources is that they can be implemented at small scale off the government regulated grid, but if the government is currently becoming more inclined towards subsidizing such endeavors then that is even better as far as I am concerned.

OTOH, transitioning to renewable sources will make limits to growth more obvious because, for instance,solar acreage is more like the beer in your mug whereas fossil fuels are more like the beer in somebody else’s keg. So, any initiative, such as your project as I understand it, towards doing more with less will also likely prove “profitable.”

The big question is how long do we have before we fall off a too steep curve? It could be argued that we already have.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

I agree with this as general principle, but I’m not yet sure it applies to global climate/energy collapse.
Not to the problem. Look where you like, using whatever tools you like.

But when looking for solutions, either one doesn't understand, or is engaged in fantasy, if the climate change "solution" one endorses is a treaty, or regulation, or legislation, or subsidy, or Green tech.

After one accepts this, and looks at the political game, some things are very clear.

Politically, I am left of Chomsky. But I am also aware of my political influence, and the difference between intent and results.

So I vote Libertarian. Not because Libertarians have the answers, but because they don't. And they know it. So in effect, libertarians act as speed bumps, slowing the system down. And they are nearly powerless, so I am far less likely to find that the recipient of my vote did something horrible, and that has some value in this system.

I vote Libertarian, because it's easier than trying to anticipate which of the major party candidates is going to do the least damage.

And I use the freed up resources to work on finding something that might work.

The light is better under the street lamp, but that ground is crowded, and has been for decades. Is more of the same going to yield a different result?

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Riggerjack:

I used to semi-jokingly describe myself as Green Libertarian. I think it would be more accurate to describe myself as Apolitical, because I just don’t like constructing my models in terms of politics. If I had free access to 1000 courses offered by a great university, Political Science 101 would be maybe 967*on my list. However, lately, I keep piling up books on the topics of Economics, Ecology, and Collapse, so I am begrudgingly forced to pay some attention to how these realms intersect with Politics. I almost didn’t vote this year, because I am so freaking sick of the everlasting bickering, but there are some aspects of Green Tech policy which I believe to be in alignment with my own interest. Therefore, as an Apolitical, it seems kind of naive to me to choose to vote out of alignment with self interest in order to make a Political stand, even if it is theoretically the Anti-Political Stand of a Libertarian.

IOW, I believe that Economics and Ecology drive Politics much more than vice-versa, but that doesn’t mean that I am above tweaking a minor feedback loop if/when possible.

*968 through 1000 would likely be Military History, Baseball, Dentistry, etc.

chenda
Posts: 1607
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by chenda »

Riggerjack wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:26 am
Politically, I am left of Chomsky. But I am also aware of my political influence, and the difference between intent and results.

So I vote Libertarian.
Interesting. Would your views lean towards Spanish style Libertarian Socialism, or something else ? Chomsky has been highly critical of free market / right wing libertarianism as inherently tyrannical, a point on which I would strongly agree with him on.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

Chomsky isn't wrong.

But he occupies a particular space. Something of a "extreme left wing bulwark". To a majority of our society, the outrageous terms he uses means that anyone beyond Chomsky must be mad.

So he is a fixture in framing the overton window. That seems to be limiting his perspectives.

......

Free markets work differently in practice than in theory.

I think there is great potential, here.

Difference can be measured. What can be measured can be optimized.

We have seen what Capitalism has done by optimizing for projected profit. Lots of this is AWESOME beyond anything that has come before.

But there are some problems Capitalism just sucks at. To be clear, I mean Capitalism, the form of governance, not markets. Markets are a mechanism, Capitalism is the ways we distort markets.

I certainly don't want absolutely free markets. But there is room for lots of improvement in market design.

And this fits my Liberal values. A true improvement, will not just be chosen, it will be bought by those who choose. See Tesla as improving the electric car market. If only we had worked out a less capitalistic funding option, more good could have been done...

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I don’t see how voting for a particular candidate or platform on the offer is less counterproductive than getting married to the best person available. At least in politics you’re only locked out of the market for 4 years :lol: People vote with their dollars in the market and they vote their pocketbook at the polls. It’s all about human decision making, so Economics trumps Politics, and since your brain is part of the ecosystem formed through the process of evolution, Ecology trumps Economics.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

I don’t see how voting for a particular candidate or platform on the offer is less counterproductive than getting married to the best person available.
Exactly.

So when one considers all outputs of capitalism, and the value of one's vote on those outputs, "obstructionism" has positive value. Obstructionism is the best choice available.

It also has the advantage of not taking much personal investment, and comes with no voter's remorse.

I would have to rethink this, if libertarians started to actually win some elections, though. :lol:

User avatar
Jean
Posts: 1350
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Jean »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:27 am
It’s all about human decision making, so Economics trumps Politics, and since your brain is part of the ecosystem formed through the process of evolution, Ecology trumps Economics.
I'd rather reformulate it that way:
Politic is built on economics, whis is build on ecology, itself built on chemistry, usw..
Each strata is a is a systemcapting some of the energy flow in the lower strata.
If a strata changes with a much shorter time than the upper strata, the best system tends to prevail, if the time frame are closer, it's more chaotic and based on luck (or ability to withstand instability, but constant instability is a state in itself)
What i'm getting at, is that i'm not sure that we have any power over it, beyond trying our best at incarnating the system that works according to our core values (e.g. If you're libertarian, don't aggress or tolerate aggression, if you're a socialist, help the weak, if you're a barbarian slay you're ennemies, watch them die before you and ear the lamentation of their women, if you're a bolshevik, band with other weaks to destroy everything strong and beautifull)

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“Riggerjack” wrote: Obstructionism is the best choice available.
Gotcha, but wouldn’t voting towards a mixed ticket better serve that purpose?

@Jean:

Yup, and I also find Chemistry more interesting than Politics.

I also agree that there is some intersection of Psychology or Personality Type Analysis with Politics, and I also find both of those topics more interesting. My eNTP personality gender/birth order mediated to sub-type Fun Mom would roughly correlate with my tendency to vibe Very Easy Going Libertarian in relationship to everybody over the age of approximately 14 and Sesame Street Socialist in relationship to everybody under appropriate the age of 14. So, for instance, the fate of some grown woman in the hood or some grown man in the flood plain of Bangladesh does not concern me beyond vague well wishing and respect for their own choices and striving. If/when I feel bad about polluting more than “my share” of the atmosphere it is in relationship to some imagined child in Bangladesh or my own theoretical great-grand-child. IOW, I’m a pretty simple woman :lol:

chenda
Posts: 1607
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by chenda »

@Riggerjack I largely agree with you, especially your definition of capitalism.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2993
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by Riggerjack »

Gotcha, but wouldn’t voting towards a mixed ticket better serve that purpose?
Well, again, potentially voting for someone who takes office defeats the simplicity.

If campaign promises or platforms were in any way indicative of performance, other options could be gamed out. But effort/effect ratio is all wrong.

I would be directly leveraging my own perceptions against multiple layers of obfuscation, each distorting in a different way.

Kaleidoscopes are for entertainment, not navigation. Looking through the kaleidescope of misincentives that is politics, and trying to map out a best course may be possible, but after all that effort, look at the effect. One more vote for or against. Countered by someone else with an absolute minimum of effort or thought.

That's not good strategy.

I want speed bumps, not because putting on the brakes is vital (it is) and voting libertarian will provide those brakes (it won't); but it's a safety factor. If by chance my choice actually won, there would be a mad scramble to buy him up. His first term would be negotiating his terms of sale. That is the best form of obstructionism I could ask for.

Demopublicans come with pre-sales completed.

I don't want to break capitalism down. But slowing the political arm is progress.

It's absolutely worth the 10 minutes a year or so I give it. It's not worth more.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6809
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Riggerjack:

Gotcha :lol:

Image

This image is from the blog article by Ugo Bardi which I linked above. It summarizes results of his research into investing fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources while avoiding worst case scenarios of CO2 emissions/levels.

I worked through some rough math in order to relate this to ERE. The "equilibrium" or really something more like "intelligent homeostasis" level of energy consumption per human in the diagram is 2000 Watt-Years per capita-Year which is about 17,520 kWh/capita per year. The current average level in the U.S. is approximately 88,000 kWh/capita per year. The average GDP/income per capita per year in the U.S. is approximately $50,000 and the median income per capita is approximately $32,000, so median per capita usage might be estimated as closer to 56,000 kwH per capita per year. So, "equilibrium" energy use divided by current estimated median energy use = 17,520/56,000= .31. If we multiply this ratio by median income (assumed to equal median spending) .31X $32,000= $10,011 or not too far off of 1 Jacob/year given current allotment of energy usage to fossil fuel sources.

If we eyeball the purple portion (fossil fuel)of the topmost graph above the dotted line, we can see that approximately 1/8 of fossil fuel energy needs to be reinvested into development of alternative energy sources for this projection to play out successfully. Therefore, this is very much in alignment with my intuition that I currently should be spending approximately $1000/year on my Garden Microbots and other related alternative energy projects within my overall Permaculture Plan. This intuition first occurred to me several years ago when I realized/calculated that PVC technology was already advanced/cheap enough that it would theoretically be less wasteful to devote acreage to solar panels to power Garden Microbots than to devote acreage to potatoes to feed/power human garden assistants. However, as I noted elsewhere, baseline of 2 hours of manual labor is good for the health of most humans, so the Garden Microbots only make sense beyond that level of 2 hours/day potato powered human labor/capita X 2 acres/capita = 1 hour human labor/acre per day (seasonally adjusted) in my Ideal Permaculture Systems Design.

I would be interested in any critiques of Bardi's paper and/or my rough math/plan.

white belt
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Collapsology- What's Your Intuition?

Post by white belt »

@7Wannabe5

I don’t have the expertise to critique your calculations, but I am very interested in the same topic. As I plan systems for my own life, I wonder how I should determine if a solution is feasible in a low energy intensity world? I’m trying to gauge for example whether an indoor aquaculture or aquaponics system that requires say 15 watts of continuous power for pumps makes sense from an energy perspective if it provides me with animal protein/micronutrients with an edible FCR of 2:1.

Post Reply