Friday, November 1, 2013

Social Engineering Requires Info on the Status of Society

Bear with the lack of paragraphs, please. One of these days, I'll do the code thing. I'm trying to look at things from the engineer's standpoint of causes and solutions. Mostly the causes so far, because the solutions (if they are to put us in harmony with nature) would be too draconian or bizarre for most people to accept. Here's a list of some points: 1. Civilization is the means we use to isolate humans from the natural risks and responsibilities of life. It works only for humans, and only temporarily (until resources are unattainable to support it). In terms of natural resources and economics, civilization is always a pyramid scheme, but some cultures (Amish) try to keep it down to one layer of bricks or so). 2. Money is a tool that accelerates resource consumption. In order to use money the way nature works with other things, the use of money needs some kind of feedback mechanism (predator-prey equations apply), and that has to be applied at the point where people choose to spend money, not on an intellectual blame level or educational level, but at the action level. This is related to "People do stuff. They have reasons for doing stuff: in that order." 3. The old saying goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." James Kunstler said, "'Efficiency' is the straightest road to Hell." Raj Patel said, "The opposite of consumption is not frugality: it is generosity." Those things add up to what I say: "All paved roads lead to Hell." 4. I will always fall back on my main theme of Net Usefulness: any species survives or goes extinct (in general) based on whether it is useful to the resources it depends on or simply a consumer of those resources. The problem with humans is that they have created an ever-accelerating extraction process that feeds usefulness up the pyramid of civilization, and we allow people who are the MOST disconnected from nature through the pyramid's infrastructure to make decisions about the flow of resources. Barbarians and farmers and naturalists are the interface between civilization and the actual world. They should be in charge of where resources are allocated (less farmers now because many are now factory managers rather than walking the wild fencerows).

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Slow down. Be nice. It's probably not worth it.