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Comment Re:Read some Engels (Score 1) 265

I think one of the greater turn offs of Communism is just how much reason has to be fucked up in order to embrace the system. In the real world, such systems are comparable because they manifest in all three of your "dimensions". There's no mileage to be gained from your gobbledygook.

A brief critique would include a) society and political dimensions are not independent, b) when you say "a way of organizing society", you automatically introduce a political dimension, and c) in reality, we already have manifestations of capitalism and communism which both competed with each other and were quite comparable to each other.

Basically if you would define the terms more sharply you could have a combination of any of those variations in the economic dimension, society dimension and political dimension.

But there would be no point to doing so since no one else would share your choice of definition nor would such division of definitions illuminate a real distinction, assuming you have a higher life goal than labeling "american" thought as a mistake.

Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 1) 140

Safe means that the land can be returned to general use with no special measures needed.

Exactly. And my point all along is that you don't need to even think about that standard of safety, if you continue to use the land for nuclear power. Then it is not going to be used for "general use" and we can use a variety of "special measures" indefinitely.

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 129

And there lies the heart of the problem: purchasing power is coupled to having a job.

As technology marches forward, that coupling has to be let go. Or at least loosened. The majority of the population needs to have some purchasing power even if there's no job for them. Think basic income.

Or we could create more jobs. I'd take concerns like yours seriously, if we weren't strangling employment in the developed world, and if the rest of the world, including China, showed similar problems. Instead, what we see is massive increase in productive employment throughout the rest of the world and a really hostile environment to employment in the developed world. Maybe we should go with what works?

The alternative: (almost) everything automated, production equipment (including robots) in the hands of a few corporations & the billionaires at their top, with the rest of the population jobless / out of money (and in the extreme case: out of housing or food). Great recipe for say, a nice little civil war. As it has been several times in history.

And once again, we have the threats. Your approach isn't working. The laws protecting developed world labor are still pretty strong. But we don't need a zillion unemployed or underemployed developed world workers with really strong labor protections. Instead, we need a strong, competitive employer environment. But that requires nurturing employers which a lot of people seem pathological inclined to smother.

Comment Re:What a mess (Score 1) 427

"explaining how she approved the sale of 20% of US uranium to Russia in return for massive bribes"

Eh, no. They were company donations to the Clinton Foundation.

How do you think bribes happen? There's an awful lot of money being pumped into this trust by parties that had past dealings with the Clintons.

Comment Re:Long view (Score 1) 129

It might not make sense at the present but you have to look at decades from now were most of the Western nations would have automated and will produce cheap crap themselves instead of importing them from China.

But it still doesn't make sense at present. And my bet is that in the future, those Western nations will develop that newer automation and then build and deploy it in China because that's where the world's industrial base will be.

Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 1) 140

If you don't decommission, what are you planning to do to make the reactor safe?

What does safe mean here? It sounds to me like there is a ridiculous standard of safety being advocated here that can be best met by ignoring it, especially given that advocates like you are very careful not to give the nuclear industry a reasonable and cost-effective way to comply with those standards. I don't believe the safety issue is introduced in good faith and as a result, I don't believe one should comply with it.

Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 1) 140

Could it be that building a nuclear power plant and then decommissioning it is somewhat more complex than you assume?

Then why am I advocating skipping the decommissioning step? I think unfortunately, that your comment about decommissioning nuclear reactors, "takes many decades at least" is on the mark. Thus, the obvious solution is to don't do that. It also means a lot of very costly hurdles are already overcome (as your mentioned examples of grid ties and land use permits).

Also, I see that Eunuchswear mentioned counterexamples to your assertion.

Comment Re: Makework (Score 1) 1124

You're confusing "How we did it" with "How it has to be done" - that's an appeal to tradition fallacy. We've had civilization for some ten-thousand years now, depending which great leap forward you choose as a start - and we've had employer/employee relationships for 200 years -it is not the only way to produce anything. It is not even the only way to trade labour. Hell in the very next paragraph I gave you an example of labour trade that doesn't involve employers and employees (worker-owned coops).

We haven't had millennia of global economic growth or rising standards of living. That's a new thing and employment in the modern sense is a big driver of it.

Also, I don't consider worker coops to be a significantly different sort of employment than employment with a traditional employer. It may have different expectations, but it's still trading something you value (money, place to stay, intangible experiences, etc) for work the coop or other employer values.

The thing you're ignoring is that trading labour is trading the single most valuable resource on earth - for pennies. You're trading your time alive to another. A resource you cannot renew. A resource you can never replace. Hell it's a resource that even if you buy it you cannot get more off. And you get way too little of it to sell it for less than a good life.

And you choose to trade your time alive to another. My view on human needs is that people can provide for their own basic needs unless they are extremely disabled in some way. And who has a stronger interest in deciding what you need and stronger interest in delivering that need than you do? It would be great if those needs could be provided trivially, but we don't live in that sort of world. Thus, it's quite reasonable for the person who needs, that they work themselves to deliver that need.

Actually - they do. Terry Pratchett wrote that the single greatest tragedy in the world is all the people who never get to discover what they are great at.

I strongly disagree. Doing stuff you find you don't want to do is a great way to determine what you do want to do. You also can learn some important lessons that you can apply at your dream activity.

Or you can use that drudge job to not be a leech on society. That works for me too. I consider peoples' survival and freedom of action more important than whether or not they do something that they're really good at.

It's even more worth noting that Star Fleet was a clear exception - and that exception existed for very good reasons.

Many such exceptions exist for plenty of other jobs in the real world.

Cisco's father had a restaurant that sold traditional Louisianna food - not to live of the proceeds, just because he enjoyed cooking it and enjoyed watching people eat it.

So Cisco's father can just decide to cut out in the middle of dinner? It's still a job, where you have to work just due to the expectations you create in your diners, even though you gussy it up.

In the TNG era this is not the state of the universe - but it is the state on earth. On the other hand - the Ferengi have the same level of technology - and they are hardcore capitalists with jobs and bosses and an ingrained desire for great wealth. Infamous for their greed and lack of ethics. A libertarian writer I know called them a 'cruel and unrealistic parody of capitalism' - I call them a euphemistic portrayal of it's horrors.

I agree with the parody viewpoint. Star Trek is fantasy and they were doing a hatchet job on capitalists with the Ferengi. And I don't buy these proofs by Terry Prachett or Gene Rodenberry. It's fine to use fiction for your metaphors. But we need to remember that fiction is not real and as a result, metaphors may not accurately reflect the real world.

I'm not so sure you're right about that, even so - you need a fairly large section at the very least. That said, I never said we are there, I merely said we are starting to develop the technology to be able to go there if we so choose.

Again, I strongly disagree. What's magical about having say a billion people on board that you couldn't do with a small city?

I'm sticking with what works

And fuck all the people who get destroyed by it's flaws ? Should mankind not always be seeking to advance ? Always be seeking to improve ? Do you really believe we cannot improve over a mere 200-year old system that was, itself, an improvement over 10-thousand years worth of other systems ?

Do you have something that works better? If not, then shut the fuck up. What's the point of your moralizing when my choice is better for humanity?

I find it remarkable that your argument is that there should be something better out there, but a something which we have no real world example of. I have never taken the position that modern capitalism/democracy was the best possible, but rather the position that it works better than anything else we have tried so far.

Comment Re:A good reason to replace old reactors (Score 1) 140

You can't just build a new reactor on the site. Removing the old one takes many decades at least, because it is high level waste. You can't just lift the old one out and drop a new one in, you have to replace all the plumbing (which is now contaminated) and buildings etc.

And the obvious rebuttal is that you don't have to do anything of those things in order to build another reactor on the site. You can always move the reactor off to one side. Most plants have some clearance around them.

Or sure, you could just move the plumbing and other radioactive stuff off to the side and build the reactor where the old one was. We have millennia of experience with putting new buildings on the foundations of a previous building.

Do some research into how long it takes to decommission a nuclear plant. I mean really decommission, not just entomb it and leave it for decades to cool off, I mean to clear the land and put it back to a usable state where you could build a new reactor on it. Current projects for UK plants that shut down in the late 80s/early 90s are 90 years. I and almost everyone alive when they started will be dead before they can re-use that land.

We don't need to decommission a reactor, if we build another one on the site.

Comment Re: Makework (Score 1) 1124

We need zero employers. We also need zero employees. There is nothing but quaint calvinist moralism behind the belief that we need either.

We need people to all have adequate food and shelter.

Given your tenuous grasp of the notion of "need" in the first paragraph, I don't see that we "need" to feed or shelter people either in the same sense of the word.

The thing that gets ignored here is that employment is trade of labor. And for things like feeding people in high population density modern societies, you need (in the real meaning of the word) a lot of labor trade in order for the society to function (such your example of providing food and shelter).

Employers and employees are one way to achieve that - it's a massively flawed way with a terrible failure rate (every person who doesn't have both is a failure of the system) which we have had to prop up with all sorts of welfare systems to try and keep the failures from ripping the whole thing to shreds.

That's your flawed thinking getting in the way again. With a healthy employment environment, you probably will need some sort of welfare system, but it's going to be better than the current state. Those additional wages mean less need that a welfare system has to cover.

And further, we have strong evidence gathered over the past few centuries, that this route works amazingly well with many billions of people, most of the world, currently benefiting from this exchange of labor.

And I see that as an opportunity rather than a disaster. The time has come to extend the academic model to the entire economy. Give the whole world the equivalent of tenure.

Fuck no that's retarded. When there's no longer the threat of losing one's job from slacking off, that's what will happen just like it does in the academic world. And the academic world has reasons, such as an alleged concern in protecting academic free speech and scientific integrity, which just don't apply in the rest of the world. The rest of us don't do research which could help billions, for example. In particular:

We did it in academia because the one in a million scientists who goes down the right road makes all our lives better.

Show me the one in a million burger flipper or coal miner who makes all our lives better to that same extent. There's no upside tail to the vast majority of jobs out there that compares to academia and with that, you just lost your excuse for having tenure.

To put it simply - we are on the verge of having the means to live in the kind of world Roddenberry envision in Star Trek TNG.

I'll believe that when it happens. In the meantime, it's highly delusional to apply post-scarcity ideas to a scarcity world. That kills people!

And it's worth noting that the Star Trek world didn't have such tenure in Star Fleet both for safety reasons (such as being unable to get rid of an incompetent captain or engineer - a number of Star Trek stories are based on that theme so it's quite relevant) and for reasons of advancement (how old would all of the Star Trek people be, if they had to wait for someone else to die first (perhaps several someones and we're speaking of Star Trek health care too!) before they could advance to their current positions?

Now we have the capacity to do that for everybody. Not bolshevism, not even communism because there's no 'from each' part and need doesn't have to come into it. We have the capacity to build a society that's 'to each according to his desires' - and the only restraint is - you can't intrude on anybody else's and you can't destroy things other people love or need.

Show it first. You don't need the whole world to be on board to demonstrate a prototype society. In the meantime, I'm sticking with what works.

Comment Re:Makework (Score 1) 1124

What delusional world do you live in ? The past 50 years in the US has almost entirely consisted of the very policies you're defending - shafting WORKERS and sucking up to employers - and it has caused all the problems you are seeing today.

No, you are incorrect here. Sure, there has been some slight decline in those legal protections, particularly a modest rollback of the excessive legal protections that labor unions used to abuse, but it's mostly still there and still mostly getting in the way. We still have minimum wage, OSHA and EPA regulation (the latter which has sprung up in the last half century), considerable legal protection of labor unions and strikes, and very powerful court protections via lawsuits (unsafe working conditions, timely payment of wages, anti-discrimination, etc).

The only real power that businesses have is that they have the money and the jobs. That's good enough to give them a powerful advantage when, as present, there's an excess of workers for most work. Needless to say, business creation and growth, and job creation negates that advantage in the long term, but it means you have to give employers a bone in order to get the above.

Seriously - your'e one more republican president away from it being legal to shoot employees as a motivational tool.

Ah, another bullshit "metaphor". We could on the other hand continue to keep the shooting of people illegal.

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