The way forward to The Future – the big picture

They are trying an ongoing discussion on suggestions on the way forward to The Future at The Standard. Robert Guyton elaborated in Open Mike:

Plans for a post titled, “How to get there” and intended as a platform for TS readers and commenters to display their ideas and aspirations for improving the chances for each and every one of us (humanity that is) to “get there” have been floated over the past couple of weeks and today might be, by the grace of the TS authors and tech people, the moment for it to surface, glistening and quivering, into the light of day. Fingers crossed.

The title has changed but here it is The Future Is …:

This post is intended to be a place for discussion of the way forward.

The idea comes from an exchange on Open Mike a few weeks ago. TS regular Robert Guyton suggested we have a dedicated thread where “the way forward can be discussed, within parameters such as doable suggestions, successful examples, contributions from readers who support the concept of the thread, new takes on the future etc.”

So, an Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible. The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

You might want to talk about gene editing or free public transport.

Maybe the future is solar? Maybe it’s female? Maybe the future is merely a philosophical concept that’s had it’s day?

It would be worth getting a wider range of views than are likely at The Standard. We all hope to get what is now ‘the future’ – the best way forward is a collaborative but keenly contested approach across the political spectrum (and outside it).

 

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122 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 9, 2018

    The future is where it has always been – in people’s heads. All that is needed is the freedom for them to make it happen and for others to choose whether it is good or not without compulsion.

    That won’t satisfy the Left of course.

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 9, 2018

      Hence, if my personal ‘free’ individual ‘best future’ is to destroy this slice of our natural environment for some short-term economic gain, maximized to myself, I should be allowed to go ahead and do that and other people are ‘free’ to judge the consequences afterwards?

      Which galaxy does this make sense in again?

      But lo, just across the river exactly this is happening, as a ‘private landowner’ devastates the environment clear-felling their own, personal forest block …

      What difference does it make now? The land’s already fucked? The river’s already fucked?

      The problem is exactly that the future is in people’s heads … Their ‘money counter’ heads … driven by greed from the vacant place their hearts used to be … rather than the future being in their ‘beings’ ….

      Reply
      • David

         /  December 9, 2018

        The most polluted places are the least developed, rich capitalist countries can afford to care and have the resources to have a clean environment. Consumers choose to only by products from companies that dont damage the environment, millions of consumers make better collective decisions than a few dumb politicians..look at the bloody cabinet for proof.

        Reply
        • The Consultant

           /  December 9, 2018

          Wish I could uptick this about a zillion times. I’m probably just going to cutn’paste the following comment because it applies to PartisanZ and Blazer:

          Even when presented with incontrovertible evidence of the failure of these Malthusian visions of doom, the Left never learn, and simply say the same things all over again, because now and in the future it will be different and the doom-laden predictions will come true.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  December 9, 2018

          so the poles,and great deserts of the world,the virgin rainforests are the most polluted!….very good David.

          Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 9, 2018

          @David – “The most polluted places are the least developed, rich capitalist countries can afford to care … ”

          Oh Jesus Save Me … The least developed places are the most polluted [and rooted] by the rich capitalist countries who can afford to care, are morally if not contractually obligated to care but just fucken won’t because it would affect their bottom-line …

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  December 9, 2018

            Tru dat. But they blame it on the local corrupt governments.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              BS yourself. Go check out all the other pollution caused by big overseas businesses. Air pollution, shmair pollution.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              Who brought ‘industry’ and ‘democracy’ to these unfortunate places?

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              The independence & self-determination movements brought democracy, their own versions of it, an the local governments usually support industries already there at independence and take their cut, & welcome new industries themselves. The lack the expertise to manage them and often to regulate them. So when the industries pollute the landscape the companies argue they have met all the relevant legal requirements and the government is responsible for maintenance of failing infrastructure. Happens with the oil-soaked wastelands around some places in the Nigerian oil industry, for example.

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              Your problem is you never watch video docos.

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              (Well, ok, to be fair, that’s only one of your problems)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 9, 2018

              Your problem is you watch them and don’t realise you are being sold a PoV.

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              No I do. But I’m also looking at the pollution. And the scale of it. And the impacts on the wildlife. And on the people living amongst it.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 9, 2018

              PZ’s claim which you endorsed is refuted by the facts I gave. That’s all.

            • Gezza

               /  December 9, 2018

              Only partially. You shouldn’t take me too literally. Or seriously. I don’t take you seriously. 🤔 Well, quite often I don’t. You know me. 😀

              There are many large Overseas Companies operating in Africa & South America which have exploited the local corruptible political situation, lack of tight regulation, & lack of enforcement to get away with degrading & polluting the environments people live in, or forcing them to use dangerous chemicals or practices (dirt poor, desperate tobacco farmers in Africa have major health & lung problems as a result of toxic processing methods) out in the wop wops where the stuff is sourced from.

              This is information not even collected & recorded in official stats, Al. A problem with using using published data & statistics is literally that you don’t know what you don’t know. And you don’t know or see what is hidden up out of view, by the companies & corrupt officials, creaming it from the companies.

              That’s all.

          • The Consultant

             /  December 9, 2018

            The least developed places are the most polluted [and rooted] by the rich capitalist countries…

            You can certainly make a good argument that the West has over the last twenty years, outsourced some of its polluting industry to the Asian Tigers, and China. But for the most part those nations are simply going through the same phases the West did in the early Industrial Revolution – dark, satanic mills and all that. Which is to say that their industries are more focused on domestic consumption than export, even in a place like China, and as David says, they’re not rich enough yet to be able to afford all the pollution control and cleanup that we can in the West.

            The good news is that because industrial technology is so much more advanced than in the early Industrial Revolution, the pollution actually is not as bad as it was in the West, and will get cleaned up far more quickly. That can been seen with China actively tackling their smog problems after a couple of decades of having it, compared to the likes of London living with that for many decades before they cleaned up.

            And of course the worst industrial pollution on the planet actually happened in places that were not at all connected to, or dependent on, or were being “rooted by the rich capitalist countries”… because they were full-blown Socialist paradises. Introducing The Black Triangle.

            The Black Triangle (German Schwarzes Dreieck) is a border region shared by Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, long characterized by extremely high levels of pollution. The term was coined in the 1980s.
            For decades, industrially produced air pollutants (chiefly sulfur dioxide), water pollution, acid rain and other effects took an enormous toll on the health of local residents and the surrounding environment.[2]

            After the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, the three nations acted to cut emissions. This has resulted in significant environmental improvement.

            Thank goodness for Western Capitalist Democracy: we destroy communists and clean up the shit they leave behind.

            I’m sure every decent, good-hearted person would applaud that!

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              So post-WW2 at least, Slavic centrally-planned Totalitarian capitalist economies – what you Righties call ‘socialism’ – got ahead of Western less-planned Inverse Totalitarian capitalist economies in ‘outsourcing’ their pollution to conquered, annexed and occupied East European “satellite lambs” … thoroughly ‘rooted’ by the West e.g. Germany, England & America during and after WW2 …

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 9, 2018

        Was it a plantation forest? One has just been harvested near Russell. The owner has no intention of destroying his environment, merely of making and keeping it productive thus serving it, himself and humanity.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 9, 2018

          There’s one near me where they killed all the trees at once. You can imagine what a hideous sight it was, they could have left a few around the edge. There’s a Christmas tree farm (for want of a better word) where the poor little trees are killed to be used as ornaments for a week or two, then thrown out. Haven’t these people ever heard of artificial trees that look just as good and last for years and years?

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  December 9, 2018

            Hideous tree, hideous wood, hideous practice … although this lot will probably go overseas for pulp and paper …

            Most of what’s grown up here goes overseas ‘raw’ I gather, the earnings for everyone involved except the Chinese thus minimized. (It’s becoming the same with honey from ’round here I believe) …

            Next big rain the clear-felled, nuked-looking, rubbish-piled wasteland opposite our place will wash thousands of cubic metres of clay [and pine needles] down the steep hillside – too steep for anything but reserve native forest stabilization – into a river already narrowed by nearly 200 years of silting leading to epidemic mangrove growth, and mostly greeny-brown-coloured from untold pasture runoff from 100 years of unfenced-waterway-traversed pastures …

            Aside from news of yet another logging truck accident this week, the revelation that among all its other drawbacks – the wood’s softness and reliance on poisons for treatment, the asthma and upper airway tract infection inducing affects of the pollen, pine’s toxicity to soil, our reluctance to ‘add value’ to it, the devastation caused by ‘tailings’ a la East Coast, the Wildings epidemic and much more – it can now be used as a political weapon in the ‘war on climate change, gain carbon credits’ debate … making it seem like a great option … despite the myriad major drawbacks …

            After doing exactly that, this in-house article actually goes on to make some salient points about bio-energy, diversified species and R&D …

            https://nz.pfolsen.com/market-info-news/wood-matters/2009/november/new-zealand-forestry-today/

            But as a nation IMHO we need to face the truth and admit we have made a mistake with Pinus Radiata …

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 9, 2018

              How many houses do we scrap because they contain pine wood then?

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              The old gross overreaction into irrelevance trick eh Chief!!!

              You do your own intelligence a disservice Alan … Discredit yourself.

              Pine is bad but its here … and it OR OTHER more environmentally appropriate WOOD is 24 times more energy-efficient than its nearest rival for building. It’s nearest rival is anything involving concrete including mud-bricks …

              But no, you’re ‘Right’ … because I mention an exhausting (and some potentially lethal) list of down-sides to pine I must be proposing we tear down half the houses in A-NZ …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 9, 2018

              Most of our houses are built with it, our newspapers are printed on it and it is a major export. But you want to call it a mistake.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              Yes, we made a very understandable mistake back in the 20s and 30s by choosing Pinus Radiata …

              We should work to A) grow no more of it than we do now … B) Replace that amount with other trees or plants (Hemp comes to mind) over time … C) control Wildings as a pestilence … and D) Expand the forest industry and non-commercial reafforestation both using either native or environmentally appropriate trees …

              ‘Phase out Pine over Time’

    • Blazer

       /  December 9, 2018

      we’re heading towards a ‘brighter future’ Al…I know this because politicians say so….don’t know whether we are still…’on the cusp of something special’-National said we were….maybe we ..slipped.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 9, 2018

        Judging by this government we are on the cusp of a zillion cockups.

        Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 9, 2018

      The best future for NZ is for us to hold fast to our Christian heritage.

      Maureen – I would no doubt bomb this TS discussion, if I had time😊

      I really like how Alan says that the future is in our heads. I believe that Church can grow strong in NZ, within our free society. If we lose our freedom though, Church will grow strong ‘under the radar’ like she does in places where Christians are persecuted.

      Which do we prefer? Church strong, because of freedom? Or Church strong because of fear? Either way, Church never dies. The swampy mire between these two scenarios is what is causing us frustration.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  December 9, 2018

        @Mother – “Which do we prefer? Church strong, because of freedom? Or Church strong because of fear? Either way, Church never dies.”

        Are you threatening me Mother …?

        Reply
  2. Ray

     /  December 9, 2018

    Well one of Robert’s hobby horses for the future is the Green ideal of “garden forests” which I understand it is a return to the Stone Age practise of small patches of vegetables amongst a forest of trees that also supply human needs.
    Sound great and definitely has an appeal .
    Except as the well known gardener says.
    ” While the home production of fruit and vegetables seems destined to continue no matter what, the current craze for *food forests* is, I suggest, more fashion than movement. It won’t be long before people realise that so-called food forests in temperate climates don’t actually produce much food at all – at least nowhere near as much as more utilitarian vegetable gardens, berry enclosures and orchards can provide. You wouldn’t want to be aiming at self-sufficiency with a food forest but you can at least claim to be on trend at the moment.”

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 9, 2018

      Sounds like yet another Green policy designed to reduce the global population by starvation.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  December 9, 2018

        As I’ve said many times. The Greens: making kiwis colder, sicker and hungrier.

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  December 9, 2018

        It may be totally unrealistic, it may be vague aspirational stuff from privileged old hippies and Commons Garden types, it may be idealistic claptrap from a whole bunch of warm and fuzzy people who just want everybody to get into doing the thing that they themselves love, and who dreamily romanticise that it will all just work because lovely people like them but with bigger brains that know science and inventing & stuff will just figure out how to make it work once they are forced to by circumstances or law – but I doubt that Green policies or even this idea are actually “designed to reduce the global population” by starvation. It’s OTT & disingenous to say that.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  December 9, 2018

          🌸🌸🌸

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 9, 2018

          The world view behind it is primitivism. The inevitable consequence is vastly reduced productivity and population. They know this but deliberately persist. Consciously or unconsciously they design with this objective.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  December 9, 2018

            It’s unconsciously. They don’t have to design and implement to solutions to what they want to take away, they have an attitude “It’s got to stop, so just stop it. Solutions will appear. Never fear. Humans are good at problem solving.”

            Mind you, exactly the same can be said about big business when they’re creating a problem and don’t want to stop making money.

            Reply
    • David

       /  December 9, 2018

      Only Robert would think the future is going back in time. How long before we all starved with that dopey idea, what does he imagine we do for vegetables for the months of the year they dont grow, how does he imagine vegetables would be affordable for the poorer people or the people without access to food forests, who owns the land where these forests are and who deals with H and S access etc.
      Typical lefty can do no more than imagine a better world but can never get out of the starting gates because they never have an implementable plan. Meanwhile capitalists and the right get in with solving the big problems and making a quid at the same time.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  December 9, 2018

        Capitalists don’t make food “affordable for poorer people” … What are you talking about?

        The capitalist ‘ideal’ is food grown indoors or its ‘semblance’ incubated in laboratories – in both cases preferably by machines and robots, not people – utilizing massive amounts of man-made energy – after which it is ‘processed’ to make it ‘desirable’ and/or addictive – then driven or flown to ‘market’ by expensive fossil-fuel burning trucks and aircraft spanning those parts of the globe who can afford it … (which means they have to be playing the same game) …

        Colossal waste of food is one collateral by-product of the process … which probably could feed poorer people affordably … except that doesn’t fit the capitalist model …

        This undoubtedly creates more big problems than it solves … which leads to the next cycle of capitalism …

        Reply
        • The Consultant

           /  December 9, 2018

          Even when presented with incontrovertible evidence of the failure of these Malthusian visions of doom, the Left never learn, and simply say the same things all over again, because now and in the future it will be different and the doom-laden predictions will come true.

          Reply
          • PartisanZ

             /  December 10, 2018

            And this so-called “incontrovertible evidence” is what … your word?

            Sorry … Believe the word of a Consultant in a Consultantocracy … No thanks.

            But anyhow, you Righties are mostly not talking about food, you’re talking about the commodity ‘semblance food’ … a quantity of which gets wasted each day enough to feed all the poor in NZ and probably somewhere else as well …

            Only it isn’t food to yous … Like livestock it’s “units of production measured in dollars” – unsold in this case – and the profits easily cover its disposal …

            Let the Charitocracy take care of ‘sharing’ it among the poor if they can win the Give-a-Little popularity contest necessary to raise the funds to pay themselves very well to do so.

            I’d sooner be a positive person who’s aware of possible doom approaching than be driving a doom-generator towards it …

            Reply
    • There is a big difference between the time when natural production and gathering of produce and the present era.

      Estimates of the population of the world at the time agriculture emerged in around 10,000 BC have ranged between 1 million and 15 million.

      Even earlier, genetic evidence suggests humans may have gone through a population bottleneck of between 1,000 and 10,000 people about 70,000 BC

      World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of 1315–17 and the Black Death in 1350, when it was near 370 million.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population

      The population is now about 7.7 billion people. Subsistence farming or gathering (I guess many Greens are against hunting) would be impossible in most populated parts of the world.

      Reply
      • artcroft

         /  December 9, 2018

        Reality won’t stop them dreaming.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 9, 2018

          Anyone can grow things in pots.

          But free public transport…dream on. Unless the vehicles are free (and don’t cost anything to maintain), the drivers unpaid and the fuel is free, it’s just going to be another tax. Someone has to pay for it. There’s very little that’s free. Gold card holders don’t pay for transport directly, but it’s not free. It has to come out of taxes.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 9, 2018

            Work it out, PDTs; where do you THINK that money for ‘free’ transport would come from ?

            Reply
  3. David

     /  December 9, 2018

    Competition has always been the best way forward, humans are competitive creatures and the only time we collaborate is when we can use someone elses resources at a cost less than acquiring our own.
    Our standard of living is immeasurably better due to the rapaciousness of capitalism, it should be left unbridled and unleashed by removing the dead hand of the state at every opportunity.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  December 9, 2018

      all fine and dandy rhetoric…without corporate welfare ,where would business be?

      Landlords would have a busted arse without $2.5 billion in accomodation handouts to keep the ponzi going-just one example.

      No Americas Cup without gummint handouts…and so …on.

      Reply
      • David

         /  December 9, 2018

        If the idiot politicians hadnt started the accomodation supplement then house prices would have been lower negating the need for taxpayer money. Leave it to the market to sort.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  December 9, 2018

          the so called ‘market’ is not efficient.

          The GFC proved that once and for …all.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 9, 2018

            Utter and complete b.s. as usual, B.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  December 9, 2018

              perhaps you could explain why you think that…Al!

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 9, 2018

              I could but since you’ve had reality explained to you many times before I won’t bother.

          • David

             /  December 9, 2018

            The GFC origin was Bill Clinton and his interference in the housing market.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  December 9, 2018

              if you swallow that b/s you have to be pretty gullible David.
              Greenspan and deregulating the financial markets is the root cause…no contest.

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 9, 2018

      Sooner a “dead hand” than an invisible one IMHO …

      At least with death you know what you’re dealing with …

      In this case someone living in the most ghastly sort of individualism ‘sterility bubble’ by the sound of it …

      The idea of the State … culminating in either the Totalitarian or Inverse Totalitarian State … must simply be superseded IMHO … not removed … because then your neighbours would come for you …

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  December 9, 2018

        “The Invisible Hand” is simply the collective outcome of many people pursuing their own interests in market places, and Adam Smith simply pointed out that this collective outcome was not only more natural than the guided hands of a select few or perhaps just one person seeking to do good, but superior to it in the results achieved.

        I prefer the term “guided” to “dead”, although the latter usually appears that way after a few years of bureacratic growth, like fatty arteries.

        What I always like is that even when that guided hand is trying to manipulate things, the invisible hand continues to work unseen around it, often frustrating it despite the best efforts at control by the guided hand. The whole business of fracking is a recent example, where the Obama administration did not even realise what was happening with hundreds of these small fracking firms, and when it did realise, did everything it could to restrict such activities on land the government controlled. What was needed and wanted, according to Obama in 2008-2010, was petrol prices near the levels of Europe. It was just crazy, he said in that languid, mocking fashion so beloved of his Leftist followers, “to think we could drill our way to cheaper energy.”

        What I like even more is that he’s now trying to take credit for it. I guess his message to the thousands of fracking companies is “You didn’t build that”.

        Thus does the invisible hand win – eventually.

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 10, 2018

          You forgot to mention that “the many people” are those privileged by inequality enough to allow them to ‘play’ and hence show their invisible hand in the ‘market’ … as opposed to the black market, crime and social problems where “the others” express themselves … a phenomenon which the (so-called) legit market must then pay for … and which only the collective can address by taxing the market (more in the form of income than wealth) … as indeed the market demands it do …

          Unless you want private police, judiciary and prisons?

          Thus does the invisible hand FAIL … interminably …

          Reply
  4. The Consultant

     /  December 9, 2018

    Gusher: Feds ID largest energy find ‘ever,’ :

    “In the 1980s, during my time in the petroleum industry, the Permian and similar mature basins were not considered viable for producing large new recoverable resources. Today, thanks to advances in technology, the Permian Basin continues to impress in terms of resource potential. The results of this most recent assessment and that of the Wolfcamp Formation in the Midland Basin in 2016 are our largest continuous oil and gas assessments ever released.”

    This is just one field, the most recent discovery, piled on top of what’s been “discovered” over the last decade. It’s been a while since I looked at the figures but I think the USA is now over 100 years of oil supply at current consumption levels, and several hundred years of natural gas.

    Reply
    • David

       /  December 9, 2018

      Its quite incredible what fracking etc has done for the US and not just in dollars but in no longer being totally dependent on the middle east and then to the absolute horror of the Greenies almost all the power stations now run on cheap clean gas and not dirty old coal.
      Billions are wasted in other countries in the fruitless search for carbon neutrality all the while with no taxpayer funds the US shows the way again.

      Reply
  5. The Consultant

     /  December 9, 2018

    More good news for our future, Introducing the Simon Abundance Index:

    The report builds on the famous wager between biologist Paul Ehrlich and economist and Julian Simon on the effect of population growth on the Earth’s resources. While Ehrlich warned that population growth could deplete resources and lead to global catastrophe, Simon saw humans as the “ultimate resource” who could innovate their way out of such shortages.

    Simon also lived long enough to collect on the bet, where the real price of a basket of five raw materials, tracked between 1980 and 1990, decreased in price by an average of 57.6 percent, despite a population increase of 873 million.

    Tupy and Pooley expand on Simon’s original insight by increasing the basket to 50 commodities and analyzing a longer time period; between 1980 and 2017. Over this time, they find the real price of their basket of commodities decreased by 36.3 percent.

    They also introduce a new measure termed “time-price,” the time that an average human must work in order to earn enough money to buy a particular commodity. They find the time-price of their basket of 50 commodities has fallen by 64.7 percent. Put differently, commodities that took 60 minutes of work to buy in 1980 took only 21 minutes of work to purchase in 2017. Should the current trend continue, commodities could become 50 percent cheaper every 26 years.

    Although that will be bad news for commodity producers – like New Zealand. 😦

    Finally, the authors produce the Simon Abundance Index (SAI) that represents the ratio of the change in population over the change in the time-price. Between 1980 and 2017, resource availability increased at a compounded annual growth rate of 4.32 percent, meaning Earth was 379.6 percent more abundant in 2017 than it was in 1980.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  December 9, 2018

      yes those commodity prices declined,but unfortunately the reality of land prices meant an increasing number of people had no abode to give them…shelter.

      Enjoy your bowl of rice ,living in a roadside box.

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  December 9, 2018

        We have vastly more land than people. What we need is an end to stupid government central planners who think they can plan and control land better than planning and controlling other resources.

        Funnily enough Tywford saw this and talked about it as one of National’s key failures – and he was right, but he’s retreated since the election. Too much risk of dropping house prices too far and putting too many middle-class Auckland Labout voters in the shit with their banks.

        So back to central planning and control, only this time they’re going to solve the problems of rules and regulations by building an even bigger, more centralised goverment agency that has the power to crash through all that.

        Removing the rules and regulations in the first place?

        Nahhhhh. That’s too simple-minded.

        Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 9, 2018

      The Consultant – Too many missing variables in your Simon Abundance Index … which might explain your avatar name?

      It’s all very well to talk about the “average human being” but if millions of needlessly poor humans are needlessly suffering and/or needlessly dying for the average person’s “time-price” abundance then things are wildly askew …

      Of course they are: Who priced time? Of course they are, 1% of the population receiving 50% of the income (or whatever it is) results in a skewed average to begin with …

      Commodities largely become cheaper by either removing or cheapening the human labour component … which means increasing numbers of “average human beings” don’t have the income to buy the commodities …

      We probably all approve of the US Marines slogan “No-one left behind”, even if we don’t approve of the US Marines … so until it becomes a peace-time slogan, the struggle goes on …

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  December 9, 2018

        It’s all very well to talk about the “average human being” but if millions of needlessly poor humans are needlessly suffering and/or needlessly dying for the average person’s

        Talking about overall, “average” improvements used to be the Left’s mantra – when they were defending things like Lenin and Stalin taking over Ukranian peasent’s farms, or Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Sure, the argument went, tens of millions died, but overall it worked and the nation improved.

        Just not as much as under capitalism: Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes.

        Commodities largely become cheaper by either removing or cheapening the human labour component … which means increasing numbers of “average human beings” don’t have the income to buy the commodities
        Yeah, yeah. More Marxism, this time with the long debunked Labour Theory of Value. The first part is true, but the latter part has been disproved not just by that study of 50 commodities from 1980 to 2017, but by 250 years of the Industrial Revolution where more people are better off, both in sheer numbers and as a percentage of the global human population, than ever before.

        If your argument had ever held water it would have led to the Communist Revolutions in developed countries that Marx wanked on about as being “scientifically inevitable”, with the workers ground down to nothing and having no choice but to sieze the means of production.

        Didn’t happen in the 19th century or since, but as with the environmental Malthusian doom-mongering you’ve learned nothing from this historical fact and continue to bang the same drum because “one day it’ll come true”.

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 9, 2018

          You make a ginormous ‘transumption’ (transferred assumption) that I am some sort of Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist ‘Leftie’ when, apart from anything else, these are forms of socialism at least as different from one another as they are similar …

          I have no truck whatsoever with Totalitarianism … which all except Leninism actually are – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXYY16gx9Ys – and Leninism probably near enough …

          Please don’t talk about “murderers both” without including Tsarist Russia in your equation … Or will you assert that the peasants would have been better-off under the absolute (Totalitarian) rule of the Tsar?

          You resort immediately to ‘brand thy enemy’ … (which I often do too) … Yeah, yeah … Label it Marxism it must be ‘bad’ … Presumably that means label it ‘Hayek & Friedmanism’ it must be good?

          Communist revolutions are no better a measure of communal ‘socio-economic’ progress than GDP is a measure of capitalist progress …

          The arguments you ascribe to me are not my arguments …

          I at least had the intelligence and common sense to look for critiques of Hans Rosling – (which I do with almost anything I’m ‘told’ must be good for me) –

          http://mungowitzend.blogspot.com/2010/12/hans-roslings-chart-is-seriously.html

          There are several others …

          Reply
          • The Consultant

             /  December 9, 2018

            My experience of Leftists is that even if they’re not Marxists they babble old Marxist theories, often without realising it – which is what you were doing there when you prattled on about how the declining human input in producing stuff meant they increasingly could not buy the stuff. That’s a classic Marxist argument, but I’m more than willing to take your word that you’re just a standard Democratic Socialist who did not know he was using debunked Marxist arguments.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              “The maximum of freedom for each, combined with the maximum regard for the life and freedom of every other”

              What political -ism &/or derisive name would you give to this statement?

              The writer coined the term ‘Natural Ethics’ but didn’t give its resultant expression as a system of social organisation or governance a specific ‘name’ … [a very wise decision IMHO] …

              I’m not any of the -isms you like to toss around.

              Incidentally, my experience of Rightists is they prattle on parrot fashion the untried or failed theories Von Mises, Rothbard, Hayek and Friedman as though they were some kind of economic ‘truth’ … [Von Mises defence of slavery is a absolute marvel!] …

              Worked great in Pinochet’s Chile, didn’t it? A fine and proud example of ‘free market’ imposition …

  6. The Consultant

     /  December 9, 2018

    I think the following quote from the end of the report should be put up on billboards everywhere in NZ:

    “The world is a closed system in the way that a piano is a closed system. The instrument has only 88 notes, but those notes can be played in a nearly infinite variety of ways. The same applies to our planet.

    The Earth’s atoms may be fixed, but the possible combinations of those atoms are infinite. What matters, then, is not the physical limits of our planet, but human freedom to experiment and reimagine the use of resources that we have.”

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  December 9, 2018

      more resources for…ME is the mantra of Capitalism.

      Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 9, 2018

      Masterful word-gaming I must admit Consultant … “an instrument like a piano” …

      So it depends on the player? Plenty of players abuse, damage and wreck their instruments [actually and metaphorically speaking].

      Indeed, if there’s money in it, smashing instruments on stage can get very popular …

      So it really depends on ” … human freedom [sans responsibility] to experiment and re-imagine the use and abuse of resources that we have.”

      The earth is a closed system in the way that a sperm whale, a fur seal or an indigenous native forest is a closed system …

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  December 9, 2018

        A sperm whale? They can’t manipulate their environment, which is why this sort of thing happens to them.

        WHALE (V.O.)
        Ahhhh!!!! What’s happening? Excuse me! Who
        am I? Hello? Why am I here? What’s my
        purpose in life? What do I mean by who am
        I?

        Hey! What’s this thing … this … let’s call
        it a tail – yeah! Tail! Hey! I can really thrash
        it about pretty good, can’t I? Wow! Wow!
        Doesn’t seem to achieve much but I’ll probably
        find out what it’s for later on

        And hey! What’s this thing coming
        suddenly coming towards me very fast, so
        big and flat and round it needs a big
        wide-sounding name like … ow … ound…round
        … ground! That’s it, ground!

        I wonder if it’ll be friends with me?

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 9, 2018

          And presumably a piano CAN manipulate its environment?

          You’ve harpooned your own argument IMHO.

          It doesn’t matter …. Consultants Rule … OK?

          Reply
          • The Consultant

             /  December 9, 2018

            Stupid response: humans create pianos, not whales.

            In any case the point of the analogy is that in the same we can play an almost infinite variety of music on a “closed” system of 88 notes, we can craft an almost infinite variety of “resources” from all the atoms on the “closed” system of Earth.

            It’s one of the reasons I have little time for “natural” resources. When you think about, most of our “natural” resources require huge amounts of human application to obtain.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              Oh dear … Really? Humans don’t create planets … and the point of your analogy is planet Earth …

              The name of “natural resources” simply needs to be changed to “communal resources” to make any sense of it …

            • The Consultant

               /  December 9, 2018

              Places that forced people to have “communal” resources, have run out of them – usually quickly.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              Places that forced people to have “private” resources – land, minerals etc – have largely run out of community, along with any semblance of communal equity, equality and democracy, which I guess must have been the objective to begin with?

            • The Consultant

               /  December 9, 2018

              Funny that – New Zealand and other Western Capitalist democracies have private resource control and our communities are intact with democracy and equality of opportunuity, and a fair bit of equity too.

              Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea with massive communal resources – not so much.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 9, 2018

              No …

              Firstly, Aotearoa New Zealand is a mixed Capitalist-Socialist democracy where some if not many resources are either communally owned or Public Private … and ‘socialized’ to some extent, even if only in order to “privatize the profits, socialize the losses” …

              We have some degree of equality of opportunity, probably equally matched by hereditary &/or pecuniary opportunity [oppercuniary*]… and we have a bit of equity too … all of it unfair …

              We have ‘community’ largely to the extent that it either supports or ‘justifies’ the status quo … e.g an ever increasing police force …

              Ours generally couldn’t be described as ‘close community’ … It’s not much of an ‘engaged community’ … e.g. if local body election and bye-election turnout is anything to go by …

              The ‘cost’ of non-engagement is all sorts of negative crime, health, mental-health and education outcomes …

              We most definitely don’t have democracy. How can we when policy decisions are made by the 2% of the population who belong to political parties, which are heavily influenced if not ‘owned’ by corporate-political elitists and their interest and lobby groups and ‘think tanks’ … and who are not bound in any way to honour their election promises once in office anyway!?

              I’m not engaging with you about Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea. This is not about American-created, fabricated and exploited “enemies” …

            • The Consultant

               /  December 9, 2018

              I’m not engaging with you about Venezuela, Cuba or North Korea. This is not about American-created, fabricated and exploited “enemies”

              Awwww – and after you just had a big diatribe about how you weren’t a communist, you’re going to defend the three classics by blaming their woes on The Evil American Empire – rather than the base socio-economic stupidities of their Far Left governments.

              Well I can understand that, given how discredited Communism is. So basically you’re just some other sort of Far Lefter: an Anarcho Syndicalist, Anarcho Libertarian, Wobbly, et al. Makes no difference as you’re still based on dopey Marxist theory.

              And we don’t have democracy in NZ? Really? I don’t think the Greens and the Maori Party, as just two examples, would be particularly impressed by the hopelessness of their efforts in getting votes, debating policy and joining coalition governments. You’ve imposed on NZ the same tired old Far Left model made for the USA, where the argument does work a little better.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 9, 2018

        The earth is not a closed system. It is receiving energy from the sun continuously and its inhabitants have options to capture even more external energy if they need it. Since energy can be converted to mass the number of atoms in this planet is not finite.

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 9, 2018

          Thanks Alan … That’s two good reasons why the Consultant’s is not a useful analogy!

          Reply
          • The Consultant

             /  December 9, 2018

            I guess you missed my use of double quote marks in “closed”.

            Reply
        • robertguyton

           /  December 9, 2018

          I like that claim, Alan; how is energy converted into mass? I’m guessing you’re referring to photosynthesis…

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 9, 2018

            E=mc2. At present we only know how to exploit the mass -> energy direction. The reverse direction has only been done to create an electron/positron pair.

            Photosynthesis is just chemistry. No mass is created.

            Reply
  7. The Consultant

     /  December 9, 2018

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  December 9, 2018

      OMG … Does that SAY IT ALL or what!!!???

      Deep irony mistaken for affirmation because ‘sex sells’ … Doctored perfection.

      “Men do not become what by nature they are meant to be, but what society makes them. The generous feelings, and high propensities of the soul are, as it were, shrunk up, seared, violently wrenched, and amputated, to fit us for our intercourse with the world, something in the manner that beggars maim and mutilate their children, to make them fit for their future situation in life.”

      – William Hazlitt

      Reply
      • The Consultant

         /  December 9, 2018

        As opposed to a person so crippled by PC that you can’t enjoy a three minute video with photos of hot girls!

        Sad. Especially since that upload is itself a sarcastic take on the original 80’s tune, which was mocking the idea of a bright future. The uploader clearly thought it would be fun to tweak the snark by showing one of the good things in life – hot girls!!!

        I guess I should have picked one of the other YouTube offerings of that song, something more grim and down-at-heel for the doom-mongers.

        Reply
        • PartisanZ

           /  December 9, 2018

          What you call PC might just be the ‘stem-cell remedy’ for your form of quadriplegia …?

          So … the good things in life are ‘objects’ you can satisfy your conditioned, indulgent cravings with …

          Now that is sad!

          But I respect your right to do so … and to tell us about it …

          I’m not a doom-monger, far from it … but I’d rather be a doom-monger than a doom-bringer if I had to choose.

          Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 9, 2018

      The real bad guys will just organise their own end to end encryption as an exra layer across the compromised services. All this will do is destroy public faith in public services.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2018

      Competing with Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi etc I reckon.

      Reply
  8. Someone there suggested Pete might be a…lickspittle!
    Lickspittle! Pete???

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  December 9, 2018

      Someone where?

      Reply
    • Robert, I’m surprised that all you do here is try some sort of lame disruption. I thought you wanted ideas about how we approach the future discussed.

      All you have done here is re-emphasise your intolerance of discussion outside your own own narrow world.

      Did you want to explore a wide range of ideas? Or did you just want to promote your own?

      In a democracy the best way forward to the future is wide ranging discussion and an attempt get a broad consensus.

      Reply
      • robertguyton

         /  December 9, 2018

        Narrow world? I put my ideas out for display on a political blog and you claim it’s a “narrow world” ?
        So what’s it here then, Pete?
        I’m quite pleased with the reaction to today’s post: 88 comments there and another 78 here – gotta love that, aye 🙂
        In any case, it’s early days yet. Next weekend, the same post will go up, all refreshed of course, and we’ll see if it has legs. Not bad for a starter, I reckon. You’d have made a better impression if you’d followed up your claims; hit and run is an easily recognised strategy and you fitted that bill, Pete. I anticipated an Eyeore or two, and you appeared on cue 🙂

        Reply
        • I have had other priorities today Robert. Like, family priorities that rose before 6 am. Plenty of time to solve the problems of the future, so I’m not sure why you’ve had a niggle at me for not providing all the solutions straight away..

          And all you do still here is try to be a negative numpty (actually, sorry if I got that wrong, I don’t know if you tried or not).

          Reply
          • robertguyton

             /  December 9, 2018

            Me too, Pete; minded the grandchildren, helped my son install a flue, welcomed unexpected visitors, cooked dinner, planted tomatoes and all the while, facilitated an active blog post. I didn’t ask you to provide all the solutions, but one positive suggestion would have endeared you to the TS crowd, with whom your status… needs boosting. In any case, 80-plus comments there and almost as many here tells me the subject is a stimulating one. Thanks for your contribution.

            Reply
            • My primary suggestion was to encourage the discussion here. I see that as a positive.

              I have no desire to ‘endear’ myself to the TS crowd, in general they have proven many times to have a dislike of alternative views, and that seems unlikely to change. There’s no point in me spending much time there apart from prompting the occasional reminder why it remains a fringe forum.

            • robertguyton

               /  December 9, 2018

              118 comments here, Pete, plus 116 at TS – that’s not too bad, I reckon. Must be something in it 🙂

  9. alloytoo

     /  December 9, 2018

    The future is dependent on energy, with energy you can grow food in the Antarctic or the Sahara, or even underground.

    With energy we can exploit resources outside our planet, even while we repair issues of pollution and waste.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  December 9, 2018

      Exactly. And we have access to limitless energy. Humanity just has to work out how to manage it.

      Reply
  10. PartisanZ

     /  December 9, 2018

    The way forward expressed on here is not to allow a way forward other than the one which is now leading us backwards …

    If that’s the case we have passed ‘Peak Development’ and none of the others matter …

    Reply
  11. Mother

     /  December 9, 2018

    “Mother – “Which do we prefer? Church strong, because of freedom? Or Church strong because of fear? Either way, Church never dies.”

    Are you threatening me Mother …?”

    Ha ha PartizanZ. That is actually very funny. I would have not so long ago felt deeply ashamed that I could never invite people to the churches I was in. Within my unhappiness, I could not compel my conscience to suggest that others come suffer the same. It is just as you say – I knew that I would be threatening them with oppression. FOG (fear, obligation, guilt)

    It’s different now. And NZers had better hope that Church never dies in NZ. Thinking NZers must realise that our Christian heritage is worthy of our continuing effort. Surely middle of the road practically minded political people realise that a visible Church is of incomparable value to our nation at this time in world history.

    Your joke is very funny, but it also obviously exposes the tripe that the main churches have become in NZ. They are deservedly open to mockery. They are afraid to name the Saviour! I’m not, at this stage. Jesus Christ is my Saviour – He is the best help for any nation.

    There are plenty of Christians in NZ and plenty more who quietly acknowledge that Christianity keeps us ticking along. I hope that the Christians find their voice. It is much needed. If we are silent, the present nonsense which abounds within politics is threatening indeed.

    True Christianity is the best form of moderation. Christianity does not exist except within and around Church. You’re stuck with Church in NZ, whether you like it or not.

    Best we all get on the side of moderation. I hope many will come to appreciate Church, and again, I’m sorry that the churches put people off Christianity. They need their heads examined.

    Keep joking. It gives me a chance to express my thoughts about Church. Maybe they kicked me out because they could see I was a threat somehow.

    Reply

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