Is this thing sustainable?



  • Earth

    Us

    The trajectory that the western world (we know most about that) is on looks to my layman eye to be due a calamity. The place feels imbalanced and unstable.

    The systems and standards we've thrived with seem, suddenly, vulnerable.

    What to think is going to happen in the next 10 -15 years?

    Everything sweet?

    Anyone see any big holes?

    Disclaimers:

    Been ruminating on getting fern input about our progress observations on this for a while.

    Can a thread develop based on data and universal truths rather than conspiracy theories?

    Solid observations would be preferable.

    In our lifetimes of "everything gets better", could we be on the precipice of the down slide, like previous eras in long ago history?

    A couple of things have been irksome to me of late.

    Eric Weinstein has hinted at the frailty of the economics of the world. I don't know but it seems like there's a puppeteer pulling convenient strings somewhere, to stretch a metaphor. Seems like a lot of worthless stuff valued at a fortune. Weinstein's, "If only you knew" tone of voice triggered me. He's pretty honest.

    And, Dan Carlin, I think, mused "If someone could design a fridge guaranteed to last 10 years, would it ever get to market?"

    How do we keep up with such "demand" for consumer items? Raw products supply? Developing nations creating a bigger market? Raw products supply

    Dunno.

    Politics is rooted. Carlin, I like the historical insights, noted that when a 2 party government race gets stale or seesaws, (like most places now) the people look to a pragmatic, strong male figure to lead them out of the mire. US, Phillipines, Brazil etc? I think his reference was the 2nd world war lead up.

    Oil's a fluffybunny no matter what way you look at it, unless you have some. How long do we keep chugging down that path? Where/who does the compromise come from?

    Gargantuan profits at the expense of everything else seems to be the order of the day. How does that change?

    The sobering thought that a week of no internet would be an historical moment. A month and the whole planet's changed forever, no? Ditto electricity. We're a bit vulnerable aren't we?

    Islam's not going away in the west. Therefore that pusy scab's not going away without a punch up.

    SJWs and lefty dickheads will probably run out of steam. Dunno, hope so.

    Environment is too big to be definitive on anything. Like trying to fix a tank with no tools, only bare hands. Won't budge it fuck all but if everyone contributed you could achieve something. Everyone would have to be on board I reckon.

    Anyway this thread is for no disputes, more for solid info based musings on our path for the next 20 years. Obviously, I know fuck all but above a few areas to frame some thoughts on. There'll be more I hope.

    Lastly I'm not trying to go all henny penny, or indeed chicken little on you, just stuck in my echo chamber with a deep confusion of how everything keeps afloat.

    No use dwelling morbidly on the future. Better to focus on a good life now, but it's useful to keep an ear open on what folks can see.

    Instinct, nothing else really, nags that we're due a shake up soon. Haven't had one for 80 odd years. Looks like we're all spoiling for some outrage. Won't be a war I dont think but a depression? Dunno

    @NTA and @Calf piqued my interest in some things they said in another thread. I hope they won't mind me quoting:

    *At the same time, the bigger picture for me is the general theme of the way society is going in western countries. Professional politics is giving us a system that is not representative. The systems we've got are inbred, but still smart enough to let just enough controversy off the leash in order to keep us focussed on arguing little shit, instead of the big stuff.

    As @Calf said: housing, finances, bankruptcies, corruption (which is going to happen, but seems to be growing), health, education, etc*.

    So what's up you reckon?

    She'll be right, it always is, OR anyone see any upcoming icebergs?

    All observations and opinions welcome 🙂



  • Yeah, thought so. Thanks @Duluth



  • On most markers we've never had it so good. Life expectancy, infant mortality, access to services and technology - well unless you're in the US where those things are starting to drop due mostly to an unworkable healthcare system.

    On the flipside of that, humans are by nature antagonistic: when there is nothing to complain about, we'll find something e.g. my marriage 😉

    In all seriousness though, here in Australia both sides of politics have their issues. The only difference is how you stand to gain from one side versus another.

    We're reaching the end of some kind of cycle, definitely. Look at something as simple as CEO pay versus the average worker - it relies on some general figures, but it is generally accurate and parallels this concept of "shareholder value"

    Can't blame CEOs for taking advantage of the idiocy of the boardroom, of course.

    The people railing against the 1% of course forget that it was always the way of things - under fealty the King effectively "owned" the whole joint! The merchant class wanted to change that, but were aspirational to the point of making themselves royalty (Borgias, anyone?) and just started new dynasties. I digress....

    The mantra in modern Western Society is growth - and endless growth in a confined system is impossible. So we have recessions and corrections and just accept that is the way of things.

    You've got to balance aspiration with safety nets, and it is a fine line as various governments pander to their bloc and/or their lobby. An interesting idea I saw a couple of years back was from the New Democracy Foundation:

    https://www.newdemocracy.com.au/

    Their line of thinking is that citizens should be engaged directly in the running of the joint, rather than just having a say every few years EDIT in an election and maybe not getting what they were promised. It is an interesting concept.

    There was a video I posted somewhere on TSF about the Third Industrial Revolution, which I'll put here again to look at what happens on the civic side of things.

    Regardless of the accuracy of those predictions, it is clear that humanity can't seem to be trusted with an extended period of basic peace without a serious war to come along and fuck it up.



  • Worth pointing out the worldwide poverty is at the lowest rates since we started measuring it.

    By any measure you look at, life has never been as good for humans as it is now.



  • Yes I think we'll be ok but their will be some hiccups along the way

    I'm not concerned about climate change, though I am concerned about governments and activist groups whooping up hysteria to fleece money off normal folk without achieving anything concrete also potentially at the cost of achievable environmental solutions such as cleaning up waterways. I believe technology will avert major issues in regards to temperatures rising.

    I'm hopeful the concept of freedom will win out even in Islamic countries and I hope western countries re-discover the importance of this concept and undo some of the recent efforts to remove freedoms. I think this wave of independent media and the end to legacy media is going to be key here. Same too with another fight back against the horrors of socialism.

    I'm picking the EU to dissolve within 20 years, there will of course be some short-term pain following but everything will recover, I believe it has become corrupt beyond saving and the world would be better off without it. I'm hoping Britain gets a clean break too soon so they don't have to get dragged properly with the sinking ship.

    Picking Trump to get reelected with a decent majority and this will force the dems to push out their extremist fringe and bring a moderate candidate to the fore which will potentially win them 2024. I expect the culture war will heat up until after 2020 and then dissipate as people finally realise Trump still hasn't gotten around to putting everyone into concentration camps. Moral panic will end which will be great for everyone.



  • A book I recommend that touches on all these sorts of issues is "The Idea of Decline in Western History" (Arthur Herman). It was written in the 90's but it is still relevant

    It covers the various ideas that developed in response to the British version of the enlightenment. Complaints about religious decline, capitalism, changing populations, conflict with nature, greater individual autonomy and the over reliance on reason/science

    Some of them weren't in direct opposition but they allowed certain critiques to flourish. History having a direction, civilisations having a life cycle that mirrors a human beings etc

    Without saying every idea about decline is wrong, Herman explains how different declinest ideas began and how they cross pollinated. I've read a reasonable amount of political philosophy (PPE at uni for some reason, it's really helped my IT career!) and this is a good summary of how some big ideas formed and mutated

    tldr
    The west is constantly complaining about the same things, with minor adjustments. The end is alway coming within ~20years



  • @Siam dude! Awesome topic.

    The thought posed by the title has ocurred to me.

    Would love to contribute. Hopedully meaningfully.

    Will follow, reflect and contribute as the spirit moves me.



  • @Rembrandt said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    Same too with another fight back against the horrors of socialism.

    Do you mean the concept as a state philosophy e.g. Venezuela?



  • @NTA said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    @Rembrandt said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    Same too with another fight back against the horrors of socialism.

    Do you mean the concept as a state philosophy e.g. Venezuela?

    Yes as a worst case, but also this current breed of politician (AOC, Corbyn, Sanders) which seem to be tiptoeing over the line from increased social programs to authoritarian redistribution of wealth and economically suicidal policies.



  • @Siam said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    Earth

    Us

    The trajectory that the western world (we know most about that) is on looks to my layman eye to be due a calamity. The place feels imbalanced and unstable.

    The systems and standards we've thrived with seem, suddenly, vulnerable.

    What to think is going to happen in the next 10 -15 years?

    Everything sweet?

    Anyone see any big holes?

    As someone that spent a good proportion of his life attempting to "modernise" work practises, the efficiencies that result in automation and machine learning are enormous. One only needs to compare the human endeavour required to provide sustenance in the early 19th century to now. Recall if you can typing pools and wonder where those jobs went.

    We're entering a unique position where computing power and automation result in massive job opportunities disappearing. At the same time that the economic benefits of digging and selling raw materials has disappeared, we've tightened lending practises so a generation is going to learn a valuable lesson about economics at the same time we appear to be hitching our wagon to a declining empire.

    Meanwhile you have an entire generation that has known nothing other than economic growth - literally 27 quarters years of economic growth. You contemplate why socialism is growing in affluent Western liberal democracies and it's not difficult to determine that the leading proponents are either ignorant or seeking to benefit from said ignorance.

    I'm acutely aware that we will require a solution that is unique, but a re-visitation of the worst of the 20th century solutions, i.e. socialism, is a recipe for disaster.

    Is our current practise of capitalism sustainable? No, but that's as much a reflection of modern politics as it is of current discourse by politicians. The answer is clearly not a repetition of the failures of the 20 century - it requires a re-examination of modern capitalism.



  • @Siam It's all a plot by the Boomers

    alt text

    I'm firmly of the glass half full persuasion. I actually think it's the human condition to shout We're doomed like Private Fraser.

    When I was growing up we were all going to suffer nuclear obliteration. Sure there are some real challenges ahead but I don't see them as insurmountable. I do agree it could be that we are in for some rocky times but that's in the context of unparalleled improvements for almost everyone on the planet over the last 70 years. We literally have never had it so good.

    I think the future is mega exciting. I'm just pissed off that I'm going to be born just a little early to see the next technological revolution pan out fully



  • Good news doesn't sell, so the media like to sensationalize how bad things are. Let's face it, life is still pretty good in NZ



  • @canefan said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    Good news doesn't sell, so the media like to sensationalize how bad things are. Let's face it, life is still pretty good in NZ

    Yep . One of the interesting things about the Tim Pool podcast was when he pointed out fake news isn’t an accident it’s a tactic. You post some inflammatory bullshit and reign it in a couple of days later , you’ve still got your clicks and money though.



  • @dogmeat said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    @Siam It's all a plot by the Boomers

    alt text

    I'm firmly of the glass half full persuasion. I actually think it's the human condition to shout We're doomed like Private Fraser.

    When I was growing up we were all going to suffer nuclear obliteration. Sure there are some real challenges ahead but I don't see them as insurmountable. I do agree it could be that we are in for some rocky times but that's in the context of unparalleled improvements for almost everyone on the planet over the last 70 years. We literally have never had it so good.

    I think the future is mega exciting. I'm just pissed off that I'm going to be born just a little early to see the next technological revolution pan out fully

    I like this. I also think there are many solutions to our forecasted problems.

    The sticky bit for me is that solutions need a compromise from some groups (profits, banks, corporations, pollution, oil), which looks unlikely. Who's going to cut back on the current success?



  • I agree with @dogmeat I am now old enough to remember at least 3 iterations of 'WE ARE DOOMED!', usually accompanied by some pompous douche telling us to 'think of the next generation'. Fuck. Off.

    What they really mean when they tell us to think of the next generation is ' do what we want or you hate children'.

    The world is fine we have infinite resources, so are not in any kind of trouble.

    I think western society is in a tricky spot, but that is around a lack of freedom, govt overreach and authoritarianism.Somehow govts and corporations have coninced enough plebs that in order to save the planet they must give away money, freedom and power to the rich, free and powerful, quite the nifty trick. Pretty much anyone who is overly enthusiastic about the climate change agenda is either in on the rort or is a willing fool.


  • Banned

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    I agree with @dogmeat I am now old enough to remember at least 3 iterations of 'WE ARE DOOMED!', usually accompanied by some pompous douche telling us to 'think of the next generation'. Fuck. Off.

    What they really mean when they tell us to think of the next generation is ' do what we want or you hate children'.

    The world is fine we have infinite resources, so are not in any kind of trouble.

    I think western society is in a tricky spot, but that is around a lack of freedom, govt overreach and authoritarianism.Somehow govts and corporations have coninced enough plebs that in order to save the planet they must give away money, freedom and power to the rich, free and powerful, quite the nifty trick. Pretty much anyone who is overly enthusiastic about the climate change agenda is either in on the rort or is a willing fool.

    Word on that last para.

    Following the fall of communism, everything seemed so positive. Our systems and values had won over. There was pride and confidence. Now that appears to have been replaced by self-flagellation and navel-gazing.



  • I think these ladies are making the right choice, I support them 100%. Them not breeding is just a great thing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-47442943/the-women-too-scared-of-climate-change-to-have-children



  • @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    I think these ladies are making the right choice, I support them 100%. Them not breeding is just a great thing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-47442943/the-women-too-scared-of-climate-change-to-have-children

    I find it sad more than anything now. What are they going to do in 12 years time when they find out its all just hysteria and their fertile years are coming to an end? Oh thats right..get even more bitter and twisted and help propagate new hysteria to shield them from the fact that they have been suckered out of their best years.

    A western woman choosing not to have a baby is not going to do anything to stop population growth in developing nations that don't give a damn about the environment.

    Having a child with all the possibilities that entails where that child might grow into someone who can contribute to the world and actually become part of the furture solution to this issue.



  • @Rembrandt said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    @Baron-Silas-Greenback said in Is this thing sustainable?:

    I think these ladies are making the right choice, I support them 100%. Them not breeding is just a great thing.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-47442943/the-women-too-scared-of-climate-change-to-have-children

    A western woman choosing not to have a baby is not going to do anything to stop population growth in developing nations that don't give a damn about the environment.

    Having a child with all the possibilities that entails where that child might grow into someone who can contribute to the world and actually become part of the furture solution to this issue.

    alt text

    GENDERIST



  • @dogmeat can someone show me evidence that a man has carried and birthed a baby please? Otherwise those who say gender is a social construct can continue to go fuck themselves


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