Technology, Money and the Future.

I have this nagging idea in my mind that I have been thinking about for some time, and I have never been to really articulate it, even to myself. I thought I would try to put what I can about it here, and maybe some of the readers here can help me clarify my thinking. The topic has come up here before in various posts, so this is not a new discussion. I will put the problem as simply as I can.

1. People need to survive.

2. In our world people need money to survive.

3. To get money, (most) people need to have jobs.

4. Most people would be happy not to have a job if they could survive without one (edit: This does not mean they don’t want to work — many people do their best work voluntarily).

5. Technology is developing to a point where jobs are disappearing (and many are not coming back), making it harder for people to survive.

6. Technology is developing (we’re not there yet) to a point where it will be possible to live on much less.

7. People need jobs to get the money to buy the technology that would allow them to live on less money. Without those jobs, in order for people to survive, someone (governments or other entities) will need to provide people with either money or technology.

8. Technology does not normally get developed for free.

I think I have got most of my key thoughts down — very sketchily. I’m presenting a situation here, not a solution. I’d be interested in hearing from the readers about what I might be missing. The issues mentioned here are being discussed in various places these days and I think the discussion will only increase over time in various arenas (politics, nonprofits, business, religion, etc.)

Thanks for any of your thoughts!

  • AlainCo

    just a new article on innovation toronto
    http://www.innovationtoronto.com/2013/03/yes-robots-are-coming-for-our-jobs-now-what/
    about how productivity decouple from jobs.
    Automation make people more wealthy, but no rule it is equally distributed…

    that is the problem to solve, not the robots fault.

    the original article is even more rich:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=yes-robots-are-coming-for-our-jobs-now-what&print=true

  • http://www.pdfernhout.net Paul Fernhout

    More than two years ago, I wrote to Rossi about these issues on his Journal blog. I put a copy of that here: http://peswiki.com/index.php/OS:Economic_Transformation

    You can read a lot more about these themes on my website. In brief, there have always been five interwoven economies, and the balance of them changes with technological changes and cultural changes:
    * A subsistence economy (“There’s some lovely berries over here.”);
    * A gift economy (“The meat from this deer I hunted is going to spoil; I’ll share it with the tribe, and others will share their hunting results some other time as they have in the past.”);
    * A planned economy (“Let’s put the longhouse here. I’ll cut the trees, you level the ground, you over there will put up the walls, and you over there will cook us some food while we are busy with these other tasks.”);
    * An exchange economy (“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. I’ll trade you some of my extra berries for some of your extra deer meat.”);
    * A theft (or conquest) economy (“What’s yours is mine because I’m stronger, cleverer, sneakier, or can afford better lawyers.”).

    Paid human labor has less and less value due to several causes including:
    * robotics, AI, and other automation,
    * better design,
    * the accumulation of physical infrastructure,
    * relatively cheaper energy (which can often substitute for human labor), and/or
    * the emergence of voluntary social networks.

    So, we can expect the balance between those five interwoven economies to change as our technology and society changes, perhaps with:
    * A subsistence economy through 3D printing, gardening robots, local PV solar panels, and other local clean energy technologies (like cold fusion or something else);
    * A gift economy through the internet, like sharing digital files to use with our 3D printers or gardening robots, or coordinating the movement of free goods like through Freecycle;
    * A planned economy on a variety of scales, including through taxes, subsidies and regulation affecting market dynamics;
    * An exchange economy marketplace softened by a basic income; and
    * Minimizing the impulse to theft (or conquest) and related violence through the previous four changes.

    The particular balance a society adopts is going to reflect the unique blend of history, culture, infrastructure, environment, relationships, mythologies, religions, and politics of that society.

  • Barak

    Have you watched the three Zeitgeist films: The Movie, Addendum, and Moving Forward. The documentary Thrive is a good watch as well. They are all on you tube. If you have not seen them, they might present some ideas for your consideration. I would watch in the order of Zeitgeist: The Movie, Moving Forward, Thrive, and then Addendum. It is important to watch them all even if some of the material doesn’t align with your current beliefs, I think you will find that they have a good amount of insight to offer. Another interesting playlist is found on the spirit science channel on youtube. The playlist is titled “Spirit Science” and there over 20 videos so it will take some time.

  • Curbina

    There is another vote ongoing for Dr. Miley’s LENR distributed power, let’s put him in the top 3 once again!!!

    http://futureenergy.ultralightstartups.com/campaign/detail/861

    Just 10 hours to go!!!

    My vote was # 50

    • GreenWin

      Curbina – I think you meant “Just 10 DAYS to go!!!” Now, 9 days and X hours.

  • automation engineer

    Automation,new technologies are expensive.It is cheaper to make product in China by hand,using slaves.I am 64 year old engineer & designed hundreds of machines to make dipers,computer discs,cars,boat motors,swiches,airplanes,you name it, I have done it.For last 5 years I am without work,I could teach new generation of designers.The progress of humanity stopped 35 years ago, now we design only wapons & toys.

  • Miles

    India will depend on coal for 20 years says minister

    http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2013/02/india-will-depend-on-coal-for-20-years-says-minister.html

    Maybe the e-Cat will be on sale by then?

  • Wes

    To put the magnitude of Frank’s challenge in perspective: in India about 70% of the population is currently engaged in agriculture (i.e. growing food). In the U.S. only 2% are needed in this field, due to the very high degree of automation used in U.S. agriculture. IF that level of automation comes to India (and it will), roughly 700 million people need to find another source of income! This is a significant issue; so significant that it is a “hotter potatoe” in political circles than the potential impact of free energy; no one wants to touch it.

    • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

      Right. and even required.

      You should REALLY read “the next convergence”, where this principle is well explained.

      It is the job of the government to educate the workers so they can participate the new economy that is ALLOWED to exist, when farming need less hand.
      In old no growth system, rich get richer, poor get poorer, slowly, and unproductive jobs are maintained just to avoid social collapse.

      When productivity of farming increase, some unemployed farmer HAVE TO find a job into the industrry, this mean that they have to have a minimum education to work in an industry that ask low level of education.
      With time more and more education is needed, and old industry collapse like the farming industry. It happens in Korea in the 90s.
      Of course the governments, like you, oppose that change and want to maintain the rich rich, the poor workers working, and the farmer farming.
      Th good things for goverment is to fund education, help unmployed to survive and educate, help foreign investors to increase local productivity and education, creat infrastructure to host industry…

      Really read “the next convergence”…

  • AstralProjectee

    DOW closes today at record high. Yet where are the jobs. Oh yeah that is right, robotics are taking our jobs slowly.

    One thing is clear here, we need a new economic, and political model. I am sure many models will work. Some more efficiently than others but I would think most of those models will be some kind of redistribution of wealth.

    When you come to see really how big the economic inequality has become, you realize this can’t be healthy, and there has to be a better way. Because not only is it immoral, but it’s also practical to change it in order to encourage equality, competition, and the health of America and the world.

    http://mashable.com/2013/03/02/wealth-inequality/

    I think capitalism has run it’s course, and now it’s time for a new economic political model to accommodate the transition to the world of robotic intelligence.

    Even monkeys get the idea of inequality.

    Do Monkeys Understand Unequal Pay? (Video)
    http://youtu.be/Mea9VB0up_I

    It’s only a matter of time before people start waking up to the vast inequality and fighting back like that monkey.

    AI’s (artificial intelligence) are practically beginning to infiltrate the market. See for yourself.

    And Now, From I.B.M., Chef Watson
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/28/technology/ibm-exploring-new-feats-for-watson.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130228&_r=0

    AI’s (artificial intelligence) beginning to infiltrate the market. It’s just a matter of time, and figuring out the right computer program algorithms before we create some of the most advanced Artificial Intelligences on the planet with computers. Fortunately AI’s will never replace human experiential conscious experience with our rich emotions and feelings that we experience in life. Nothing should take that away including a robot.

    • GreenWin

      “The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the tech boom will create more than one million new jobs by 2020.” February 27, 2013

      • AstralProjectee

        Well that is still up in the air at the very least. That is for specialized training that companies no longer train people for.

        Though I must say that those jobs will only last so long, because computer intelligence will ultimately end up taking more and more jobs that require advanced skills. So the perdicted job gain would be temporary if it does happen.

  • Jim

    Reading some of these comments, I have to wonder at people.

    What happens when a factory is automated? Costs drop. Costs drop a lot. Not to free, because power, materials, and the sales chain still cost money. But costs drop.

    After a while, when the automation is paid for, the prices will drop. Not to free, otherwise there would be no point in running the factory and still paying salespeople to sell.

    As costs drop to make things, and 3d printing starts becoming prevalent, factories and businesses may get smaller. It will cost considerably less to open a new business when you can employee robots to do the labor.

    I see a lot more products available but lots more individuals.

    I don’t know that we’ll ever get to the point of eliminating money, but I don’t know that we really want to. To even cut down on the work week, we need to eliminate a number of laws that prevent it, such as the ones requirement employers to offer insurance. It’s not worth paying insurance on 800 employees at 20 hours a week each if you can pay insurance on 400 at 40 a week. Or even 300 at 60 a week even paying overtime.

    Get rid of the stupid law, and watch the work week shrink for those people who want fewer hours.

    Of course, then there will be an argument that no one can afford insurance. However, it will become like car insurance, and the employee will be the customers instead of the employer.

    • Anthony

      I apologize if my ecological-cybernetic mindset is a bit off-kilter; I welcome all critique/questions/comments, and I’m not interested in convincing or evangelism.
      I do see the logistical benefit of automation: the leverage provided to the whole economy by lower prices for basic goods, employment and development in technological fields with diverse niche applications outside their intended market, even the potential of automation to provision previously scarce luxuries to further incentivize the market.
      Consider, also, the nature of homeostasis and diversity. When a form becomes more effective within its environment, it presses upon the boundary of its environment. Expansion continues until it reaches environments with poor fit. Rapid expansion leads to similarity across a broad spectrum; parasites and disease sweep through. Surviving pockets have, by happenstance, diversity that may create new species. In the Amazon, cordyceps fungi each target a species of insect with ‘zombie-head-explody’ spores, knocking out any species that threatens diversity with overabundance. Back to context: automation is a powerful leverage point, like fossil fuel, and its success will tend to generate disruption along the boundary, a raft of parasites in its wake, and fragmented re-purposing. I’m not sure we’ve escaped natural cycles of ecology; the cycles are an outgrowth of the system’s structure (cybernetics), and each particular technology makes wrinkles, but doesn’t change the nature of the process.

      When do new leverage points NOT create boundary disruption and parasitic arbitrage? Some disruption is inevitable, but honey bees are a good model of positive bias – symbiots, niche species providing positive externalities, organisms with parallel interests/concerns, or complementary specializations/constraints,… when we work together, we avoid the parasitic cascade. When institutions ease and support these forms of cooperation, we avoid the disruption from waves of layoffs and re-training; a classicist libertarian stance ignores our role in the environment and the potential of mutualism to play counterpoise to the threat of Malthus.

      The recognition of structure’s impact on tendency and possibility is key, in the ecological mindset. If automation is in the hands of the masses (OS DIY Cad & 3-d printers) but can only enter niches that compete with distant micro-producers, then localism becomes isolationism. This increases visible diversity – like an island chain, each island has its own fern, its own beetle. Mainlands support fewer special ‘leaves’, providing whole new niches, instead. (one fern, one beetle, AND ELEPHANTS!) Localization and automation seem to be opposing pressures, conflicting motives – I see the issue of energy density. Arctic environments require competition and consumption: caribou eat any grass they find, wolves eat any caribou they find. Replacement and transport costs are high, success is marginal, forms are constrained by the environment, minimal diversity. The Amazon, in contrast, has sloths who live in the same tree their whole lives, never killing their food source. When energy is dense, you don’t have to travel far, you don’t have to be vicious or greedy, you can take many forms, and some will produce positive externalities for others. Eventually, you may make a living by providing positive externalities, instead of hunting and killing for food. This form of specialization is the real engine of growth, and we support it with energy density. If a dense, clean, accessible city were provisioned with honest, diligent, creative folk, and the means to design and rapidly implement their creations, automation would do us naught but good. 🙂 Utopia, eh?

      • Peter_Roe

        Thanks for this very interesting post Anthony. Humanity seems to be heading toward feudal monoculture as diversity shrinks because of mass culture and active suppression of dissidence.

        This has already led to the stunting of innovation and made us increasingly vulnerable to financial parasitism and destruction through directed warfare. Further centralisation and ‘standardisation’ of the means of production, particularly of food, could easily lead to physical disaster on a vast scale, when and if problems are discovered and it is too late to return to diversity.

        • GreenWin

          Anthony argues for automation as a support to diversity; I tend to agree. I also enjoyed his Amazon parasite analogy: “…cordyceps fungi each target a species of insect with ‘zombie-head-explody’ spores, knocking out any species that threatens diversity with overabundance.” Although most of the 400 species hail from Asia, not the Amazon.

          I note that codyceps also targets its own. There is no such thing as “overabundance” as abundance is benevolent, indicative of the infinite universe on which to draw from.

      • GreenWin

        “Eventually, you may make a living by providing positive externalities, instead of hunting and killing for food.”

        There currently is no remuneration for positive externalities such as volunteering. This is a very strange conundrum. Volunteerism is wildly promoted as cooperative, communal, charitable “giving back.” Yet, even when, in this USA, volunteer, donated services, apprenticeship, intern hours are recorded – there is little in the way of recognition or compensation. Why institutionally record the hours if they are meaningless?

        There are 90,000,000 single family homes in the USA. If each of these were to have a new “water heater/CHP system installed – someone would need to build, deliver, install, maintain all those units. Jobs.

  • http://1worlddream.blogspot.ca Luke

    I definitely think we need some kind of Basic minimum income supplement for everyone to help redistribute some of the concentrated wealth and ensure that people everywhere can have a chance to survive and that the consumer base will stay strong. That way the rich can still be rich (just not quite as rich as now) and they won’t have to worry about the poor mans revolution breaking down their doors.

    The Basic Income shouldn’t be enough that people will all get lazy and not want to work at all but it should provide the bare minimum for food and shelter. We will also definitely need to create new kinds of incentive programs and educational oppurtunities to encourage people to get involved in worthwhile projects. Perhaps things like cleaning up the environment, community gardens, arts and health programs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Prgrams ect.

  • Rajeb

    I would like to say the truth:
    The world in general and the Western Nations particularly going through a collapsing state in a gradual collapsing journey which started since the begining of this century.

    • Rajeb

      Economical, social,and moral collapse.

      • Peter_Roe

        The American government at least, seem to be well prepared for this, whether or not they succeed in disarming their citizens on various pretexts:

        http://www.naturalnews.com/039345_DHS_arms_race_armored_vehicles.html

        • GreenWin

          Peter, from your link:

          “This is at the same time the American people are arming up like never before as well. U.S. ammunition manufacturers are currently producing over one billion rounds per week. All that ammo is flying off the shelves, with virtually nothing remaining in stock anywhere.”

          • Rajeb

            “American people are arming up like never before as well. U.S. ammunition manufacturers are currently producing over one billion rounds per week.”
            —————————
            Well they prepair for another American Civil War ahead.

            • GreenWin

              Rajeb, no… a civil war is a war between one people. The war Peter suggests is perpetrated by a government that no longer pretends to represent the people. But I greatly doubt it will happen.

  • http://www.electric-sailing.fi Pekka Janhunen

    (source: wikipedia)
    “In the Biblical Book of Leviticus, a Jubilee year is mentioned to occur every fiftieth year, in which slaves and prisoners would be freed, debts would be forgiven…”

    “..at this season every household should recover its absent members, the land return to its former owners”

    Already thousands of years ago Middle Easterners chose to break the accumulation of capital at 50 year intervals, and to do it in an orderly way rather than by violent revolution.

    • daniel maris

      It’s an interesting thought experiment. What would happen if we brought that in now? Presumably there would be a slump as the 50 year limit approached and liquidity dried up but then a huge boost when you got to year one. It would be like instiutionalising our once in a lifetime mega-depressions.

  • Peterem

    Mr. Acland,

    I think you are asking the right questions and I think the answer is cooperatives and mutual insurance. Consumer purchases drive economies, but consumers and the public and the environment don’t seem to be sharing the increases in productivity. A few are benefiting extravagantly from the purchases of many.

    Cooperatives can slowly take market share from huge corporations until we have businesses that actually work in the best interests of consumers and society rather than the selfish interests of a few shareholders. Eventually, we’ll share resources without disenfranchising whole segments of our society, a world without artificially imposed scarcity. The Venus project makes a lot of sense. http://www.thevenusproject.com/

    We just need a way to get from here to there.

    Do you think Ernest Moniz, the newly nominated Energy Secretary, will be good for lenr? He is from MIT.

    • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

      The idea the money get to the richest only is typical for situation where the growth is weak.
      It is well explained in “the next convergence”
      When there is huge growth like in europe after the war, in Korea in the 90s, the inequalities increase, but the poverty is reduced, and the inequalities are not reproduction of the past but result of random or merit. rich people get a little riche, and poor people can get massively richer, even more than the old rich…

      With some redistribution, which will be easy because everybody is happy, even the richest, it can allow to reduce inequalities afterward.

  • http://www.low-energy.tk/blog/?page_id=45 barty

    George Miley’s LENR Startup is available again!
    Vote for it!

    http://futureenergy.ultralightstartups.com/campaign/detail/861

    Maybe Frank can make a new advice? Now we have 10 days to beat the others 🙂

    • http://www.lenrnews.eu/lenr-summary-for-policy-makers/ AlainCo

      thanks barty… you caught the pole position… go Shumi, go !

    • clovis

      i voted, COUNT WAS 9 SO FAR.

    • Gerrit

      we have 1092 people who participated here on the “how old are you” poll.

      Please participate also in the vote for Miley !
      And please help to spread the word.

      We have 10 days this time.

    • artefact

      Thanks barty!

    • Barry

      Thanks Barty, voted.

  • Gerrit

    Who has the current schedule for the

    1 – completion of the independent reviewers testing the ecat
    2 – 1MW ecat plant delivery to the customer

    March, April ?

    • http://www.coprinf.com.ar Pachu

      Year ?

    • Torbjörn

      1 Third week in March. (This year)
      2 There ar atleast two deliveries in March; one 1MW Hot-Cat plant, and one “normal” 1MW plant. They are also manufacturing a 1MW Gas-Cat plant. (This year)

      • yamal

        whatever the date will be – it doesn’t matter as long as nobody sees them or reports about them.

      • _Frank_

        And what’s the status for this ones:
         
        Andrea Rossi
        November 28th, 2011 at 6:48 PM
        Dear Herb Gills:
        Today we sold in the USA a 1 MW plant which will go to a normal Customer. This installation will be visitable by the qualified public.
        We wait to have completed the contractual procedure through the attorneys, then we will give communication. It will be in the North East of the USA, where I have been in these days.
        Warm Regards,
        A.R.

        Andrea Rossi
        May 13th, 2012 at 8:03 AM
        Dear Pietro F.:
        I have been authorized to give the following information.
        The 1 MW plant has been delivered and is working in a military concern. It has been made in the USA, after the October test of the prototype made in Italy; such prototype will be delivered, with the modifications which we will complete based on what we learnt from the model at work, to a European Customer in July. I have not been allowed to give this information until now.
        We are working very much and very hard to be as fast as possible. For the domestic E-Cats we have the necessity of the certification made. The industrial plants will get the necessary certification within weeks.
        Warm Regards,
        A.R.

        And any information from that early customers?
         
        October 20th, 2010 at 7:08 PM
        […] As for the testing of our technology, it is made day by day by our Customers.
        Our Company has made contracts with Customers who bought our reactors and the contract we have with our Customers binds us to the confidentiality about what we made for and with them.
        […]
        I hope, since the work so far is going well, that before the end of the year we’ll be allowed to make a public presentation. …

        • Gerrit

          Thanks _Frank_ but those are old schedules and not valid anymore. LOL

        • Gerrit

          yes, I also fear that we’ll spend the rest of the year discussing the publication date of the report and the reason why it hasn’t been published yet.

          But if it is all a scam, when will Rossi run with the money ?

          What do you think yamal ?

          • yamal

            seems to be a tricky subject in terms of getting moderated. here’s my answer in a nutshell. i don’t think he will ever run. there is no reason. he can carry on like this forever.

        • Torbjörn

          There were no public demos in 2010, the Hot-Cat was invented in mid 2012. The first public demo was in Januari 2011.

          • yamal

            yes, i know. the point was that the demos distracted everybody from following up (in 2011) on customers he said he had as early as 10/2010. of course nobody talked about previous promises when there were fresh youtube videos to consume. and the talk about the hot-cat distracted from the e-cat deliveries supposed to start world wide in 2012 as did the industrial e-cat with the domestic one half a year before that. so far there has always been something new and more exciting just when it was about time to deliver on whatever was the exciting thing before that.

        • lcd

          Still a very valid point. No matter how convincing or optimistic Rossi sounds he has a record of failing to meet expectations. I still remember the “scientific article” he sort of bragged about putting out a story on him…ended up being popular mechanics and not very flattering.

          Im just as hopeful as the next guy and i have higher hopes on DGT, but the emminent Third party report might be his mom test cooking with the hotcat.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTljJA_0Y6Y Destroyer

    The banking system wants us to believe that our society is depending on them an without them the world would fall into havoc. Democracy is not “private” banks called “federal” making money regardless if the market goes up or down.

    Check out this video!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTljJA_0Y6Y

  • Barry

    It’s true technology has been replacing jobs but automation has been going on in America since the 17th century when water powered mills began to saw lumber quick and efficiently putting sawyers, half of them working in a pit pulling a saw down for much of the day, out of work. When the mills were constructed some of the sawyers tried to burn them down. Mills advanced the textile industry, cotton gins replaced workers, the industrial age boomed, etc. We’ve been adapting ever since.

    Perhaps there will be a freeing factor in a future with promises of abundant energy, interconnected intelligence and robotic workers, challenging us to adapt and evolve in a new arena. The scary thing about it is it’s happening so fast and it no longer belongs in the category of science fiction but is going on as we google.

    Ps After seeing that 60 minutes piece, if any of you drive a forklift for a living it might be time to start looking for a new career.

  • Simone

    Ever heard of The Venus Project? just have a look.. this is what was suppose to happen when machine replace man in thier jobs.. machine are supposed to work for us and we are suppose to do what we would like to do best. Teach, play, research, sleep. The society should higher the low needs standard and should give, house, food and istruction for free. This kind of world can exist only if we get rid of the problem, and the problem here is the money. World should move on to a higher purpose which moves peoples and hearts above money. Money should be removed if we want to really evolve into a better society.

    • orsobubu

      End the money: this is not ridiculous “venus project”. This is marxism. A 170 years-old science. Revolutionaries did not 3D videos on the internet, they cut off zar’s heads, they made the Red October, they showed us the way. When Europe will send your sons in a war in africa or asia, in which way will you react? watching youtube? you will not be able to end the money without a big fight against capitalists; money is wage work exploited, so you should end the wage work slavery first. But capitalist will engage in a wide military confrontation when a true global crisis will arise and capitals flows will plunge like in the thirties, to destroy and rebulid and start again the process of exploiting and accumulation. Better you start to organize and prepare.

      • Manuel Cruz

        Marxism is not science. That their supporters claimed it was is what actually forced sciencists to take a stance and start defining what exactly constitutes science and what is not. And marxism was (rightly so) catalogued as pseudoscience; marxism is a “theory of everything” in that it predicts everything (even contradictory data) and as such everything that can ever happen in history can be explained by marxism terms. So, it lacks the quality that makes science useful, yet it has the quality that makes for the best excuses. Marxism works as tinted coloured glasses that makes you see everything in the same colours, making you miss the full spectrum of light, and therefore reaching the wrong conclusions and making the wrong choices.

        In sum, all marxism is good for is to manipulate the scientifically illiterate towards a communist dictatorship system that doesn’t work (scientifically proven to fail), and later to make up excuses about why the current implementation failed, usually blaming others because for a believer in marxism, their theory cannot have flaws.

        Despite the overwhelming damage brought by marxism all around the world, it is still been taught on (mostly public) colleges and universities, disguised as “soft” sciences and under other names (such as sociology). Like other pseudosciences that have been proven to be totally wrong both in theory and practice, it should be abolished and their “experts” dismissed.

        • http://www.liberationtechnology.co.uk Dave Lawton

          Also Karl Marx was a fraud and a Snob.

          http://internationaltimes.it/karl-marx-was-a-snob/

        • orsobubu

          All ideological crap derived from Popper. Feyerabend destroyed all of that. Crazy, really, from an epistemological point of view and I don’t have absolutely time to reply. Also historically: “Communism failed”: absurd, communism is absence of money, market, wage work, banks: never in the world did exist a country with communism. Russia had all of them. You’re referring to state capitalism. Please read my previuos post. Communism is a program for the future. All communists got killed by Stalin. You’re referring to state capitalism. You absolutely don’t have a clue about dialectical materialism. Obviously you NEVER studied the Capital, Anti-Duhring, Materialism and empirio-criticism. You never studied Bordiga. Ridiculous at best. One for all: you cannot explain money without exploitation. And exploitation REQUIRES revolution also for capitalism, because in capitalism every goods – also work force – must be sold at its cost price, not stolen. Without dialectical materialism, you cannot explain how bourgeoises replaced the kings.

          • http://www.liberationtechnology.co.uk Dave Lawton

            No you have got it wrong.Anarchy is the way to go.
            http://internationaltimes.it/love-plus-anarchy/

            • orsobubu

              Surely, you’re right. Every leninist is an anarchist in perspective of course. But, for marxists, communism is the necessary step to go first. Look at Feyerabend, the most important epistemologist, he wrote about methodologic anarchism, but he agree with leninism too. This is also true for Geymonat. Do you want a proof? When Lenin decided the Kronstadt massacre (I will not explain here why it was necessary: all world bourgeoises were in Russia to wipe out bolscheviks with war ands terrorism, so it was a question of death or life for the revolution) also some anarchists perished. Definitely, it was not the right time for anarchism. It was also too early for communism.

              • Phil Lang

                I am worried about the automation of philosophers, particularly futurists. If “Deep Thought” can beat any chess player, how long until the human brain reverts to only searching for food and a mate?

    • Bernie Koppenhofer

      How do you propose we get the billionaires and millionaires to give up their power?

      • Kim Patterson

        Send them a nice letter explaining
        that Cold Fusion is real.

        Respect
        Kim

        • Peterem

          Kim,

          Excellent. Your comment made me laugh.

      • Joel C.

        Incentivize them.

        A lot of these billionaries and millionaires became wealthy not because they wanted to make this much amount of money but because they had a passion for something which simply resulted in them making this amount of money.

        In a post-money world, these people would still function the same but without the money. That’s ok because they still get to do what they wanted to do in the first place anyway.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTljJA_0Y6Y Destroyer

        They are less than 5% on the population of this planet.
        (A minority)

  • orsobubu

    The starting point should be to answer this question: what is money? Money is people’s work, exploited, don’t payed and converted in capital by capitalists. All consequent issues descend from this one: fall of the profit rate, unemployment, overproduction, inflation, deflation, crisis, war and revolution.

    People starting to approach by scratch the crucial problem mentioned in the article, usually fail to recognize that the scientific theory that deals in a systematic and comprehensive way with the resolution of the problem has been around for over 150 years: the critique of political economy, which began by the works of Marx and Engels, and completed in its practical and organizational aspects by Lenin. Communism represents the definitive scientific answer to the question. Among the countless proofs of this, is the fact that two of the most important contemporary epistemologists, Feyerabend and Geymonat (briefly, the destroyers of Carl Popper) approved leninism. It is very interesting that even those who are not directly involved in the practice of revolution mature an interest in the theory, and therefore I suggest that they start the research studying simple Friedrich Engels’ Anti-Dühring book; the method is avoiding to advance in the lecture if every single line in the text has not been correctly understood and assimilated. This is dialectical materialism, perhaps the most complex and difficult science of all.

    For american readers, please don’t confuse scientific communism with soviet-chinese-etc state capitalism: Stalin killed all leninists; United States developed anti-communist ideology (mainly by McCarthy and Popper) for imperialistic reasons, to maintain their western world surplus value quota (dividing up Europe and possibly enlarging towards Asia) during a friendly cold-war with russians, after the Yalta’s conference definitions: the ultimate goal was to ideologize and submit western and eastern workers under respective capitalists, not to protect them against ther enemy, a typical divide-and-conquer tactics. Ironically, USA today is mainly a state capitalism country itself, and this implies the failure of that ideology too, and the triumph of marxism.

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      “Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff.” – Frank Zappa

      • orsobubu

        Zappa didn’t know marxism. In communism, anyone could own everything they want (also more than in capitalism, in average, because, without capitals, there are not capital crisis): in communism only means of production (factories) could not be privately owned and runned.

  • georgehants

    There seems to be a reasonable consensus on page that the present system is not ideal.
    The question becomes, what if anything can be done to improve things.
    As most of the population are not inclined to think deeply about change and are generally happy to keep their heads down and pay their bills and watch football, which is perfectly understandable, they put their trust in administrations or “clever” elite people, to be honest and competent in handling the big picture, while they do their share by doing the real work of keeping society running by growing food and collecting rubbish etc. etc.
    Forcing people to think they must have a job and work all the time to pay their bills is capitalism and the elites method of keeping total control of the population.
    All the while the more ambitious creators are rushing to make more money (as I did in my early years) then they also do not have time to think of others and how much these more able people could do for society if their energies where channeled into worthwhile projects instead of continually with most, searching for just a way to become richer in areas that have no value.
    Many good thoughts on page but the overriding topic is how to change things for the better.
    No easy task as it involves us all caring for others and not just ourselves.
    While we all put our own importance or unneeded desires above those of others we are of course being exactly as bad as the elite, rich, arrogant, who just manipulate for their own ends

    • georgehants

      Admin, sorry double post, please remove one. thanks.

  • georgehants

    There seems to be a reasonable consensus on page that the present system is not ideal.
    The question becomes, what if anything can be done to improve things.
    As most of the population are not inclined to think deeply about change and are generally happy to keep their heads down and pay their bills and watch football, which is perfectly understandable, they put their trust in administrations or “clever” elite people, to be honest and competent in handling the big picture, while they do their share by doing the real work of keeping society running by growing food and collecting rubbish etc. etc.
    Forcing people to think they must have a job and work all the time to pay their bills is capitalism and the elites method of keeping total control of the population.
    All the while the more ambitious creators are rushing to make more money (as I did in my early years) then they also do not have time to think of others and how much these more able people could do for society if their energies where channeled into worthwhile projects instead of continually with most, searching for just a way to become richer in areas that have no value.
    Many good thoughts on page but the overriding topic is how to change things for the better.
    No easy task as it involves us all caring for others and not just ourselves.
    While we all put our own importance or unneeded desires above those of others we are of course being exactly as bad as the elite, rich, arrogant, who just manipulate for their own ends.

  • Omega Z

    While we are concerned about Robots & such replacing all the Jobs, We should note that People in the know are concerned about not having enough Manpower in the future to meet the Demand for the Jobs that will need doing…

    Ironic, No?

    The Transition will be tough at times but, I believe it will all even out.
    Automation will provide more leisure time, but you will still have jobs.
    More then likely, Most people will have jobs that they enjoy. Obviously you can’t be a Brain Surgeon if you don’t have the abilities, but you’ll at least have the possibility of doing something you like as to a job you hate, but work at out of necessity. And if Not, Well you’ll have that extra Leisure time to enjoy.

    I’m sure every Generational Change has been seen from the same View. How will I make a living if Cars replace Buckboards & Horses, Etc, Etc…

    Also realize that less then a 100 years ago, 75% of the people worked the land. From Sun up to Sun down, & the hard life equaled a shorter lifespan. Very little leisure time at all. Everything was all about surviving another year. On average 80 hours a week just to survive & In your spare time you had to cut & split wood to survive the Cold Winters.

    Today, you work 40 hours, But only because of our modern lifestyle. No longer living in a small log cabin or earthen home, but a modern facility with piped in (Gas/Electric)heat & A/C. TV, Sat/Cable, Sound systems, Computers, Cell Phones, Eating out, Concerts, Sports events, Etc, Etc…

    Half of everything we earn goes to the extra’s we never had before.
    The Future will be no different. Only Our Toys & the Number of them will Change.

    In the Future, I can see people working 20 hour weeks, Half that going to our new toys, AND- We will still set around and complain. It’s all about perspective & that perspective will change, yet still be the same.

  • Fibb

    This whole area of debate is very timely. I am a proponent for a guaranteed annual income or reverse income tax. There will not be enough jobs to go around. Technology is going to destroy more jobs than it creates. We are in a bit of a pickle.

  • http://www.electric-sailing.fi Pekka Janhunen

    March 1 has passed and indeed Defkalion website has now been updated to read: “We are accepting in our laboratory, interested companies requesting to conduct common R&D on applications of our technology.”

  • FlanOBrien

    According to this article, “How affordable solar changes everything for the consumer”, private energy generation through solar energy is really taking off in a big way in Australia.

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/how-affordable-solar-changes-everything-for-the-consumer-68675?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-affordable-solar-changes-everything-for-the-consumer-68675

    Read the above article to see how politicians would sabotage a new distributed energy source, as they are doing with solar in Australia.

    “(in 2012) Australian households invested nearly $3 billion of their own money to generate some of their own power from their own rooftops.”

    One technique is to sabotage connection to the grid if a home has a solar installation.

    “In Queensland, the first signs of that have emerged. Watt also cites the case of commercial solar – where little has been installed in Australian because of huge connection fees, or moves by network operators to move to flat tariffs.”

    “Energy ministers who, in Australia, are the owners of such assets.”

    As Greeewin posted earlier, the key issue to implementing distributed energy is rooting out corruption of politicians. What hope is there of that?

    It is a chicken and egg situation. Abundant energy implies a more just and equitable society, whilst corrupt politicians will block such a move.

  • robyn wyrick

    Well, I wanted to get a last word (or nearly last) before closing up for the night.

    I’m a serious optimist about the automation crisis we’re facing.

    Over the past 150 years we’ve made almost every job that used to exist disappear, and the work we do now was impossible then. The next 150 years will be more of the same.

    And while this did cause problems in the past — and will cause problems in the future, the far more important crisis is the upending of the law of supply and demand (really, just the addition of a new corollary).

    In the tech economy, as demand grows without any known bounds and apparent limits, and supply strains to keep up, the cost of technology falls like a fire sale.

    This phenomenon is occurring primarily in computing, but the same pattern is going to occur in nearly every other field – because nearly every other field will be more and more driven by computing. The materials sciences and nano-tech manipulate atoms as data; biotech and genetic engineering manipulates genes and cells as data; Robotics manipulate movement as data; and AI manipulates data as, well, data.

    Additionally, the line between technology and what is typically called “nature” is fading. Over the past 150 years, corrective and enhancing prosthesis have grown increasingly intimate and invasive. False teeth became dental fillings, became implants. Eye glasses became contact lenses, became implants. Ear horns became hearing aids, became implants.

    So I think the next 150 years will see more of the same with incredible benefits. Some failures, but mostly benefits.

  • Alex

    1. People need to survive.
    >> No, we want to survive.

    2. In our world people need money to survive.
    >> In our world Money needs people + technology to survive. People need shelter, food,and water, which technology + money can provide. It is an inverse equation, if you have too much technology you need less people, and therefore will have less money. In the end, the amount of people will be self limiting, and quality of life will be lower until the equation balances out. Unless, we expand the uses of people to need other people to survive. The idea of making money and generosity do not go hand in hand, yet.

    3. To get money, (most) people need to have jobs.
    >> True, but money can come in many forms. A few hundred years ago, we used a barter system to survive.

    4. Most people would be happy not to have a job if they could survive without one (edit: This does not mean they don’t want to work — many people do their best work voluntarily).
    >> Most people would be happy not to take orders from someone else, but the same people would be happier to feel useful and bring purpose to the world around them. Using an intermediary for wealth or power, money, seems to create legions of self important, pompous, jerks who feel the need to antagonize those to have less of it than themselves. If you get rid of that intermediary and measure wealth in the amount of work you put into your survival, and to provide with your own two hands, than you would not have to worry about weather or not you had a job.

    5. Technology is developing to a point where jobs are disappearing (and many are not coming back), making it harder for people to survive.
    >> True, a company can buy a robot to perform tasks at a rate as cheap or cheaper than under developed countries. When the jobs come back home they are automated. However, In one generation of activities like that, you create a world where everyone on the planet equalize their wealth. A lot of people will go hungry, and the same businesses that automated will lose their customer base and fail anyway. The real question is who will break the cycle before there are only 500 people left on the planet. Someone or Some group of people will have to reinvent our social economic strategy, to include technology and people to coexist without greed. Its been done before during other crises, through taxes, and tea party.

    6. Technology is developing (we’re not there yet) to a point where it will be possible to live on much less.
    >> We are there, we were there in the 70’s. Why do you think most of America eat’s corn? Reinventing the person footprint, so a human can live off less of the environment is only going to be enabled by technology. What we really need, is reinventing the person footprint so the environment can live off the human. Net positive cities built from the infrastructural foundations up. Detroit is in a great position to experiment with this, now that they have gone bankrupt and will be getting new management. Put Steve Chu from Arpa-E in there to rebuild. People like him involved with high risk innovation is the one way to break the mold. In our society, this can’t happen. A city that can enable it’s inhabitants to survive by being a bounty to any human to lives there is death to money. But, it sure would be nice to invent it anyway and just see what happens.

    7. People need jobs to get the money to buy the technology that would allow them to live on less money. Without those jobs, in order for people to survive, someone (governments or other entities) will need to provide people with either money or technology.
    >> It’s a vicious cycle…but you are onto something. Yes, someone or some group would have to do something completely benevolent for others to survive. Is there a way to do it sustainable until everyone on the planet has the same opportunity to survive, is the real question. Utopian societies are fiction so far.

    8. Technology does not normally get developed for free.
    >> True. The ultimate answer for this, sadly, is developing technology to develop itself for free. How far do you let autonomous technology go in pursuit of this? Do you give up some of your freedoms so that your children, and their children will never go hungry? Robots who cater to your every need and desire, within the boundaries they set for you.

    • GreenWin

      Alex, as to your point 3: “To get money, (most) people need to have jobs.
      >> True, but money can come in many forms. A few hundred years ago, we used a barter system to survive.”

      Barter has always been a form of trade. But money dates from the Roman Empire 2200 years ago.

      • Alex

        Sorry, I meant in America. Indians and Pilgrims from the before times. But hey, when in Rome.

  • Paul

    If we only produced the bare necessities of life, there would not be enough jobs for everyone to afford the bare necessities of life. If we do not create added value, we cannot participate in the economy. Therefore we produce unnecessary items so that everyone can create value and participate in the economy. Thus the unnecessary items become necessary for everyone to afford the bare necessities of life. People who are paid just to exist should hope that society continues to value their existence. In the end it is others who decide our value, not us.

    • Alex

      I’ll be the first to buy the widget. Actually, case in point. Whoever invented fake flowers was a genius.

  • GreenWin

    While waiting on the public introduction of the first commercial LENR plant it is fascinating to review a few early quotes from the community of LENR scientists:

    “Experimental evidence has now verified that nuclear reactions can be caused to occur in heavily loaded solids [i.e., palladium]. It is premature to predict where this is headed from an applications point of view, but the basic science is clearly revolutionary.”
    Dr. George H. Miley, Director of the Fusion Studies Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana

    “It appears that the people who would benefit most by this work being discredited have taken the initiative to cause us great difficulty … They might cause us difficulty, but they will not stop the science.”
    Dr. Stanley Pons, co-discoverer of cold fusion, former Chairman Department of Chemistry, University of Utah

    “If Professor X.Z. Li [of Tsinghua University, China] is correct, then I’ll have to throw away about 14 of the 16 chapters in my book Introduction to Fusion Energy, because it will no longer be relevant to the kinds of fusion that could result from this ‘cold fusion’ process.”
    Dr. J. Reece Roth, Industrial Plasma Engineering, University of Tennessee

    “I am totally convinced that there is more than enough evidence for nuclear reactions to be occurring in these experiments.”
    Dr. M. Srinivasan, Associate Director physics group (retired), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India

    “No cover-up like this has happened before. It is a profound scandal in American science.” Charles Beaudette, author, “Excess Heat & Why Cold Fusion Research Prevailed”

    “Historically, it will be recorded that Beaudette wrote the truth at a time when science was a bit confused and not quite willing to accept it right away.”
    Dr. Michael R. Staker, materials scientist, Weapons and Materials Research Directorate US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

    • yamal

      really sad. all that confidence for more than 20 years and all we have to show is a couple of blog posts from mr. rossi. if he turns out to be not telling the truth (and who would still vouch for him wholeheartedly?) it all amounts to exactly nothing.

      • Gerrit

        wrong.

        You may perceive it to amount to nothing. You may denounce everything that you don’t want to see.

        Tritium is very hard to dismiss. Transmutations are very hard to dismiss. World class calorimetry showing anomalous temperatures is very hard to dismiss. Even more so when corresponding Helium measurements have been made.

        Mainstream science is investigating nano-particles more and more. Every week we hear about discoveries that weren’t thought possible a year ago.

        Eventually mankind will be able to explain the “cold fusion” anomalies too.

        • yamal

          actually all results so far have been terribly easy to dismiss, which is why this blog is called e-catworld and not celani-wireworld or iwamura-membraneworld and why it came to life in 2011 and not in 1993 or 2004. without rossi, we’re back to discussing the odd artifact with a handful of people calling it proof and the rest of the world remaining unconvinced to the point of being bored.

          • Gerrit

            this blog is also not called yamal’s-FUD-world

            • GreenWin

              There is a lot of pathoFUD yammering away. University Missouri’s SKINR pre-print paper finding energetic particles in Pd/D2 experiments confirms Navy’s SPAWAR fusion findings. Beaudett’s cover up has clearly failed.

              • yamal

                you obviously didn’t even bother to read that paper, did you? they found a possible contradiction, not confirmation. “pathofud”.. my a**

            • GreenWin

              Looks like Yammeral has picked up the unlit torch carried by MaryHodyYugoPopee-pathos.

              • Peter_Roe

                At least we are getting some of the more skilled ‘skeptics’ these days – well informed, good debaters and careful to avoid crossing the line. The unrelenting negativity is always the giveaway though. The key question is why would anyone spend reading and research time on a site dealing with a topic they claim to view as fairy dust?

                • GreenWin

                  Filthy lucre??

                • Peter_Roe

                  Indeed, but it’s gratifying that we are now deemed worthy of the best that money can buy. Some earlier incumbents were so inept it was rather insulting.

  • joe

    Cheap energy such as the E-cat will provide, means the price of everything will come down, which means more demand for all products, which means more jobs. With more jobs come more people with more money to spend. Also cheap energy will allow farmers to produce more food. People with cheap abundant food and more money in their pockets = population explosion. More people on the planet mean a rapped increase in demand for natural resources.

    • rolando

      Most advanced countries have low birth rate!