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Messages - zizek

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1
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: January 15, 2020, 01:45:38 PM »
Identity politics is a device for splitting groups that share interests so that they can be better managed and their impact reduced/co-opted/nullified. That's why neoliberal media outlets, corporations and other elites fully support it. It also focuses on the individual, rather than the group, matching the "no society" assumptions of neoliberal economics and ideology - a marriage made in hell.

So yes, lets all waste time calling each other names rather than addressing the people hiding behind the proverbial curtain. Some thoughts:
- An economic and political elite instigated the neoliberal revolution that screwed everyone else including the "boomers" the "millenials", "generation X" etc. etc.
- A working class lesbian has way more in common with a working class straight white man than mega-rich war-criminal loving Ellen Degeneres
- A middle aged working class black man has way more in common with a white 20-year old Barista (who works their ass off for peanuts) than elite-courtier and warmonger Barack Obama.
- 98-99% of the population is born male or female, straight, gay or bisexual and quite comfortable with that reality. So yes, the problems that many transexuals have in our society are real but that does not mean that we all have to be "woke" (and Martina Navratilova is a hero of the lesbian movement not a "transphobic" for believing in the concept of biological sex).

Apologies for the diatribe, bit I spend my days in North American academia and see so much energy being displayed on anything but climate change and economic inequality.

So all you boomers (including straight me) from what I see most young people have a really shitty time of it compared to what we had (unless they have rich parents of course) and they work pretty damn hard. They certainly seem to be doing less "drugs and rock and roll" than I did in my youth. To all you "young" people, cut that boomer shit out and understand that we mainly share interests across the age spectrum.

I will now return to the demise of our civilization due to unchecked exponential growth and ecological destruction ...
I agree with the part of identity politics. It's a good way to atomize the leftist movement and shift the attention away from economic issues.

But you're making a big mistake that young people can identify with your generation. It's not just about age. It's about your position in a class society. How many boomers do you know gain income from rent and financial speculation? I'm guessing around 100%.....
NeilT is a great example of somebody who doesn't see anything wrong with owning multiple properties and speculating on them.  Nobody on these forums confronts him because a lot of you are in the same boat.....
Just look how your generation voted in the last UK election.
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/12/17/how-britain-voted-2019-general-election


It's not about age. It's not about identity. It's about your class position. It's about your relationship with capital. A boomer that owns 2 or 3 properties and hundreds of thousands in investments has far more in common with the the superwealthy than a 20 year old black barista. I'd like to see you convince me otherwise. Just look at this fucking graph....





Quote
To all you "young" people, cut that boomer shit out and understand that we mainly share interests across the age spectrum.

you think you can seriously sell this bullshit to zoomers? That you are a lot more alike than you think? You know, while they have no job prospects, price of living is astronomical, housing is impossible, climate change is going to cook them before retirement but not before fascism rips their souls out. While your generation had everything handed to you, then you did everything in your power to rip it away from us.

Maybe I'd buy your bullshit if there was some leadership among your generation in confronting our current economic and environmental challenges. Admit there is a problem with your generation. Challenge yourself, your colleagues, your friends, your family, your community. You have all the power to do so. Start now, and maybe the new generations won't rip your throat out.

2
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: January 08, 2020, 03:29:16 PM »
woops. I was supposed to post this in the Greta thread.

sidd's post are A+. Unfortunately are is a loud group of people here that chose not to read them.

3
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: January 06, 2020, 03:49:59 PM »
I'm amazed how much Thunberg's campaign has inspired young teenagers to become committed activists. They are smart, organized, and willing to fight. The zoomers are starting to outnumber the millennial activists like myself. And I couldn't be happier.

I took a break from these forums because it was destroying my brain. I'm glad to see that it's still a bunch of boomers endlessly posting corporate propaganda and promoting capitalism.
The discourse in this forum is one of the biggest obstacles to fighting climate change. People claiming they want to fight climate change while desperately clinging to the status quo. Trying to find the right technocratic fix to solve our fucked up society. It's never going to happen.

4
Consequences / Re: Prepping for Collapse
« on: September 10, 2019, 05:02:13 AM »
I think some of you are confusing liberal denial with "left-wing denial".

5
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 01:53:37 PM »

From your comment I take it that you can't identify a country.  That's OK, I haven't been able to either.


USSR!!!!!!!!!
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/29/in-russia-nostalgia-for-soviet-union-and-positive-feelings-about-stalin/

https://news.gallup.com/poll/166538/former-soviet-countries-harm-breakup.aspx

It's weird you claim these people were coerced to support communism when the majority of these people want to go back to communism.
 
And I don't discount the awful use of secret police and intelligence gathering during the Soviet era. but it's no different than what that CIA or NSA does. The CIA murdered revolutionaries and black power leaders. The CIA killed in the name of white supremacy and for the wealthy. The KGB spied because they were paranoid to the point of insanity from the encirclement and sabotage of American espionage. Communist countries were forced to deal with the real threat of of America trying to destroy their movement. It breeds the conditions for the spying that you claim to despise. Had America and colonial powers left communist states to their own devices, those states wouldn't be constantly forced to use shitty measures to counter American influence.

----
And what about China? Do you think every Chinese person is being coerced to support communism?

Or Cuba ?!

Or Burkina Faso?

Or Bolivia?



Given that most of the world's countries are based on capitalism I'm having a bit of a problem believing that capitalism has never worked. 


Well, Bob, the thing is, and I don't know if you've heard, but we're currently facing an existential crisis that threatens the existence of humanity. Because capitalism has caused us to lose any democratic control over our industry and environment, it's making it effectively impossible to deal with this crisis.  So, if causing the destruction of the only intelligent life in the universe is considered "working", then you must be one hell of a masochist. 

6
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 02, 2019, 03:25:42 AM »
Holy shit. The Americans were explicitly fighting against communism.  This isn't a god Damn secret. This was public doctrine.  What the fuck do you think they killed millions of people for? Because they liked the beaches? God Damn Bob. You need to read a fucking book.

7
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 11:00:09 PM »

I think our military's main goal in WWI and WWII was to keep Germany and a few other countries from conquering the world.  And those countries had economic systems very similar to ours.  Later we fought against communist nation expansion into places like South Korea and Southeast Asia but I'm not seeing a lot of threat to our economic system figuring into those fights.


lol

8
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 10:02:47 PM »
No, because I don't see how that question has any validity as to the viability of capitalism.  I don't see the US military forcing anyone to acquire and invest capital.

I do see times at which the US military has been used in an attempt to contain countries which were seeking to conquer other countries.  But since some of those invading countries have been non-communistic I don't think we can make much of the use of the military.
hahaha. The United States of America has never intervened in a country for reasons other than pure altruism.  God Bless America!

9
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 02:54:16 PM »
It strikes me that posters here are using different definitions of capitalism. I propose

1) (Some) private ownership of (some of) the means of production. (No state allows entirely private manufacture of nuclear weapons, for example. Even Pantex is controlled by DOE but run by corporaions like Bechtel)


Missing the ability to own capital, invest it, and make money off that investment?

I'm not seeing anyone support a pure socialism.  Some say they want to destroy capitalism but when nailed down it's more that they want to put more restrictions on what companies/individuals are able to do.  They don't seem to actually oppose capitalism but what the see as inadequately regulated business activities.


Bob, you come in these threads acting as an authority on economics, and cite your dear wisdom of 70+ years.. So how the hell have you managed to miss the most fundamental and important concepts of economics?  Means of Production = capital goods.  If private ownership of production is allowed, like in Sidd's example, the economy doesn't just allow for the movement/investment of private capital - it's a requirement for that type of economy to function.

You really don't know what you're talking about.  Stop shitting up threads with your nonsense.

10
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 03:13:06 AM »
I don't want to kill capitalism, "I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub" :D :D :D

That's fine.  Just give us a better system before you extinguish capitalism.  I'm eagerly waiting to learn about something better than adequately regulated capitalism.

I swear to god this happens every time we have this tired debate. You ask for alternatives. You are provided with examples. You then either ignore the examples or create strawmens. Rinse and repeat.


11
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:34:04 AM »
Quote
monetary system without interest

Why would I loan you any of my money to start a business or buy a house if I couldn't make some money in exchange for the risk and not having immediate access to my money?
You wouldn't need to under socialism. Enterprises would be created, or housing would be built, depending on the needs of the people. The needs of the people would be decided through different democratic instruments like voting and councils.
Easy.

12
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:31:20 AM »

I think increasing tax rates and closing some loopholes is likely to happen if we put Democrats back in control.  I think well over 50% of all voters would support that if it wasn't too drastic.  It's one of those things that is probably best done in steps, letting people adjust to one small change before introducing another. 
Yes, just like Obama did when Democrats had the entire Congress......


Capitalism will collapse on itself if allowed to become a monopoly.  Unless it is an aware monopoly it will cut the purchasing power of workers to the point at which they have nothing to spend and the monopoly will lose its customer base, which is its employees.  The US reached that point in the early part of the 20th Century and reversed things so some degree during FDR's term.  We've now allowed things to get out of balance again and will again need to make adjustments.  Until some new form of human behavior emerges we, and every other country, will wander between extremes.
Good job bob. You're catching on. Capitalism is inherently flawed and eventually destroys itself. This has been clearly outlined by many scholars, including a 150 year-old one named Marx.  If you actually read a single book on heterodox economics we wouldn't have these grating arguments every few months. Instead you just parrot red-scare talking points you heard back in the Cold War.

13
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:23:13 AM »
The propaganda and hyper-normalization of capitalism in our society is amazing. With the advent of climate change, most people now think the end of the world is more likely than the end of capitalism.

14
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:13:19 AM »
I'm fine with capitalism, but the capital needs to be as deconcentrated as can be, and you do that by putting a cap on individual wealth.

Capitalism has spent the last few centuries entrenching itself deeper and deeper into our lives. The elite have become incredibly effective at protecting their wealth. They will react violently, as the have in every other moment in history, to the thought of an actual cap on their wealth. And if you get your cap in place, they will continue to use their connections, leftover wealth, friendly politicians to destroy or just ignore your wealth cap.

Why do you insist on just a wealth cap? What is your aversion to democratizing the economy - socialism? Why surrender power to the people that are destroying our world, our humanity, our communities, our health?

15
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: July 01, 2019, 12:03:37 AM »
OK back to the topic.  Has there been a workable alternative to capitalism presented?
Soviet Union? China?

And uhhh. Cuba? They even have one of the most robust and bold climate change action plans to date..... Doing so while under violent attack and decades long sanctions from the biggest economic problem in the world! The United States!

If someone suggests a true socialism system please include how innovation would be rewarded and how the money needed for new ventures would be acquired.  How those the system deal with those who just want their share of stuff without doing their share of the work.  We've yet to see an attempt at socialism work.  How might such a system work and work well?

Or give us a third way.

Bob, You have a grade school understanding of what socialism is.
under socialism, nowhere does it state that a worker can't be rewarded for innovation and hard work. If someone is an exceptional worker, or has made significant sacrifice, or made an important discovery. You know how you reward them? You pay them more! Wow! Amazing right? Did I just blow your mind?

That worker can then spend that additional pay on nicer food, more lavish vacations, a fancier car, a nicer home. But you know what that worker can't spend their money on?  They can't buy additional property to become a parasitic landlord. He can't buy-out the firm so he can steal workers wages.  And he can't invest his pay into magic money like derivatives and stocks.
But why would he want to invest his money anyways? For retirement? A socialist state guarantees a meaningful retirement for all its workers. As a rainy day fund? A socialist state provides adequate welfare. Health problems? Health care is free!

How those the system deal with those who just want their share of stuff without doing their share of the work.

lol bob. That's only a problem in capitalism. Where multi-millionaires and billionaires inherit wealth while never working a day in their lives. their entire lives are supported by the stolen labor of the many

16
Policy and solutions / Re: Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)
« on: June 28, 2019, 11:16:13 PM »

Big companies are not existential threats to the plant's living flora and fauna.


denialism.

17
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:35:29 PM »
Joe is a "toucher".  Or at least used to be.  That used to be a good thing to be.  Not a toucher in terms of touching people in 'private places' or in a sexual manner or in a way to intimidate.  But making physical contact with people to create a feeling of intimacy, that you were there with them and thought well of them.  Now it's no longer a good thing to be a toucher.  And I think that's a bad thing.  We threw out the baby with the bathwater.  And we threw it out only months ago.

What the fuck is this? How the fuck has nobody called this out? You perverted old man. You seriously think it's okay to intimately touch your female colleagues? Even when you have power over them? You think it's okay to sneak behind them, give them a nice squeeze around the hips, smell their hair, and give them a gentle kiss? You think sexual harassment is okay dokey?
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/3/29/18241598/joe-biden-lucy-flores-touching-women-media-history-explained

It's fairly often you hear this garbage from perverted old pieces of shit like yourself. Justifying your disgusting behavior as some sort of sign of respect. Go die already old man.

18
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: June 27, 2019, 01:22:08 AM »
that sure does sound great doesnt it bobby!

19
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 23, 2019, 04:14:34 PM »


That's a disappointing choice of target.  They could just as easily protested at the NYC headquarters of Fox News, or the NY Post.

But the NYT is a much bigger target, with a much bigger following.

But the people who read the NYT aren't the people who need to have their minds changed.
[/quote]

That's not true at all.... NYT caters to wealthy democrats. The sort of people who vote for Clinton, Obama, and Biden.

20
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 23, 2019, 02:30:40 AM »
Reasons for the FUD-mania?  Besides simply upsetting “the way things are,” there are so many industries Tesla threatens to disrupt:
Quote
Ross Gerber (@GerberKawasaki) 6/4/19, 5:32 PM
Industries at risk when Tesla succeeds:
Oil
ICE cars
Car dealers
Rail and other energy transportation
Auto parts
auto service
Gas stations

Did I forget some? You wonder why there is so much FUD out there. …
https://twitter.com/gerberkawasaki/status/1136022818376654848
Also: Insurance.  Ride-sharing and Taxi services.

Tesla’s Alligator-Like Adversaries Represent $3.6 Trillion In Revenue Per Year (Infographic)
Quote
There are many reasons for the deluge of anti-Tesla “news” stories, but, as is often the case in human affairs, one major motivating factor stands out: money. Tesla’s success imperils the profits of the most powerful economic interests the world has ever known, and the company’s possible failure offers financial opportunity for others.

Tech and marketing maven John Mayo-Smith has created an engaging infographic entitled “Elon Musk vs. The Alligators,” which describes some of the powerful industries that are rooting for Musk and Tesla to fail (and in some cases, devoting substantial cash and effort to discrediting Musk’s enterprises in the media).

Writing in Medium, Mayo-Smith estimates that Tesla and SpaceX together threaten to deprive various entrenched stakeholders of some $3.6 trillion worth of annual revenue.
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/06/07/teslas-alligator-like-adversaries-represent-3-6-trillion-in-revenue-per-year-infographic/


ahhh, I love modern journalism. You can make the claim that alligators are on a crusade to specifically destroy Tesla, but then provide absolutely no evidence. Cool.

21
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 17, 2019, 03:49:22 AM »
Fortunately, since most people on this forum are white wealthy westerners, you are positioned to avoid the worst of it, maybe even economically benefit from climate change. Just don't rock the boat!

BAU will result in the collapse of the system of capitalism. No one will benefit economically.
Before we experience a complete collapse of capitalism, there will be a transition to different forms of fascism/ecofascism. None of this is going to happen overnight. We're already seeing the beginning of fascism seeping through the cracks of failing liberal states. While many people are discussing climate change/environmental crisis in the terms of eugenics, degrowth, and blaming developing nations like India

Lots of opportunities to benefit economically in the climate change crisis.  Just look at the hysteria surrounding Musk. People are lining up to throw money at this guy because he's claiming he can save the world.  The man got his fortune from apartheid gem mining in Africa and flies around in a private jet. Nobody gives a shit about his background or intentions. They just want to be saved. Whatever the cost.

22
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 17, 2019, 01:05:22 AM »

Bob, you are the worst. Why did you have to come back.

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 11:44:24 PM »
Don't know about Gandhi, but there are also rich and powerful people supporting Greta, otherwise she would still be with a smal group of people in Stockholm. Having been active against different projects, I know the difference if there is support or not. As an activist, you can contact the press, but you don't choose if and how you are published.
I agree that some secrecy might be needed in order to be able to inform of future events.

I suspect quite a number of oligarchs would prefer to avoid collapse of civilization, too.

Uh, yeah. Rich people want to persist just like everyone else. But they want to do it on their terms. They're fine with the wholesale death and destruction of entire nations or even continents. They're completely fine with enslaving people to build their solar farms and hydro dams. Their completely okay with stealing minerals to build batteries for their cars.

History has shown/is showing us that powerful people will inflict horrible suffering in order to extract wealth. This will not change with climate change, it will only further embolden them, as they watch people become more and more desperate for a savior.

Fortunately, since most people on this forum are white wealthy westerners, you are positioned to avoid the worst of it, maybe even economically benefit from climate change. Just don't rock the boat!

24
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 08:12:23 PM »
I don't doubt that there are some rich people supporting Greta. But that is completely different than being supported by an entire class of powerful people, like in the case of Gandhi.

25
The rest / Re: Economic Inequality
« on: June 16, 2019, 03:32:55 PM »

10-100 million while part of it in an enterprise is NOT concentrated wealth, those are people who often run a family business over generations and EARNED some wealth.


Yes, generational wealth. They definitely earned it. Not the black slaves who built their factories and picked their cotton. Not the indigenous people who were raped, enslaved, and stolen of their resources and land.  Not the Bangladesh worker who's forced into factory.  Not the Iraqi that ate white phosphorous so we could steal their oil. Not the Honduran who drinks from poisoned wells caused by neocolonialist mining projects.

There's no such thing as honest earned wealth in an inherently exploitative economic system. Even for the many members of this board who own investment/rent-seeking properties.  They use their excess capital to purchase additional properties, driving up rent and housing costs, further immiserating the people who can not afford to participate in the system.

26
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 03:00:57 PM »
The slaughter of people defending their land or environment continued unabated in 2017, with new research showing almost four people a week were killed worldwide in struggles against mines, plantations, poachers and infrastructure projects.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/02/almost-four-environmental-defenders-a-week-killed-in-2017
https://www.globalwitness.org/en/press-releases/deadliest-year-record-land-and-environmental-defenders-agribusiness-shown-be-industry-most-linked-killings/


And who trained and supported the people murdering environmentalists in Honduras. Obama and Clinton's United States of America:
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-us-role-in-the-honduras-coup-and-subsequent-violence_b_5766c7ebe4b0092652d7a138
https://jacobinmag.com/2018/12/honduras-coup-lobo-human-rights-us-obama-trump


And the United States makes the lives of domestic environmental activists extremely difficult by jailing them, or putting them through a very expensive and long-lasting legal process.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jun/22/standing-rock-jailed-activists-water-protectors

And in Canada, we don't really consider indigenous people as people, especially the activists.
https://www.amnesty.ca/news/public-statements/joint-press-release/un-human-rights-report-shows-that-canada-is-failing

27
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 02:40:43 PM »
I know that, but I don't have the feeling that there was much secrecy in the way Gandhi acted. Everybody was informed so that everyone could be there. I believe that the aim was not a superficial disturbance (like planes not able to start), but a disruption of the business model, and here Greta helps a lot more than annoying few people taking the plane the 18th of June. Of course disturbing schedule has a very high cost effect, but nothing in comparison with a reduction of the number of passengers.
Gandhi is a horrible example, sorry. Gandhi protested against British Colonial rule, but had support from Indian Bourgeoisie nationalists. He replaced one oppressive ruler with another.  If, instead, Gandhi had showed solidarity with the working class rather than the Indian Bourgeoisie, and tried a "peaceful revolution" to empower the poor, he would have been quietly murdered and swept away.  Gandhi could afford to be bold because he had powerful people supporting him.

Greta and XR are becoming more and more radical. Which is good, because climate change can ONLY be solved with radical transformation. Are any extremely powerful people supporting Greta's movement, like the Indian Bourgeoisie and Gandhi? No, especially compared to global capital who have so much to lose due to her success: Banks, Oil & Gas, Mining, Property, Manufacturing, Retail - and the superstructure that supports global capital: Politicians, Lobbyists, Think Tanks, Media, etc.

Even for me personally, I have to be extremely careful about making my activism public. Because I would be exiled from my industry if people know I was a socialist/environmental activist. And until I have strong union protection, I can't afford to make costly mistakes.

28
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: June 16, 2019, 02:36:49 AM »
It looks like an authentic document, and it is coherent with the XR strategy. In the non violent movements, there is often an important part of secrecy, but I wonder if it is always needed. Why don't they provide meeting places, precise times for the meetings...
Greenpeace is even more secret, most of the time you hear of the action when it is over, or at least started.
I believe that in a democratic country, it should be possible to announce an action in order to have as many participants as possible. To stop Heathrow, you just need to get there with enough people at a specific time.

A little naive Etienne...

Police spies infiltrated UK leftwing groups for decades
Quote
The police spies infiltrated the Socialist Workers party (SWP) almost continuously between 1970 and 2007, often with more than one undercover officer embedded within the party.

Four of them deceived women into sexual relationships while using their fake identities. One spy met one of his wives during his deployment and had a child with her.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/15/undercover-police-spies-infiltrated-uk-leftwing-groups-for-decades

US judge orders release of 'first Black Identity Extremist'
https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/06/the-fbi-has-identified-a-new-domestic-terrorist-threat-and-its-black-identity-extremists/

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


29
Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: June 13, 2019, 06:38:46 PM »
Tom, are you being... Ironic?

30
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 05, 2019, 11:46:41 PM »
I did the napkin math. Before accounting for inefficiencies, wind drag, frictional resistance, or even pulling the car itself.... (it would be safe to consider total losses to be at least 50%, but we don't need to even bother...)

136,000 kg towing capacity.

To get to 100km/h in 60 seconds.. Which is extremely slow.

time to 100km/h = 60 s
acceleration = 0.46 m/s^2
total distance covered = 840 m

Force required = 62560 N
Total energy required till final speed = 52550.4 kJ


In a perfect ideal situation.... We would need:

875 kW sustained for 60 seconds would call for 2200 amps at 400V. Insane.
And use 15% of a 100kWh battery.... That's in 60 seconds folks.


All for less than $50,000 american dollarydoos!

--------

Musk doesn't actually know what towing capacity is. There is a big difference between a vehicle's torque and the weight it can safely tow.





31
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 05, 2019, 12:27:11 AM »
Oh my goodness. Am I taking crazy pills? Why do we have to relitigate the specifics of Tesla's "fundamentals" over and over again... When Musk has literally said himself that they're months away from bankruptcy. 
I must be taking crazy pills...

Archimid, please explain to me what you would consider bad fundamentals. Considering you think a company with a CEO admitting they're tetering on bankruptcy to have "good fundamentals"


Tesla's fundamentals are solid

Fundamentals are solid.......

Musk's email to Employees dated May 16 2019
Quote
That is a lot of money, but actually only gives us approximately ten months at the first-quarter burn rate to achieve breakeven. It's vital that we respect the faith investors have shown in Tesla, but it will require great effort to do so.

That is why, going forward, all expenses of any kind anywhere in the world, including parts, salary, travel expenses, rent, literally every payment that leaves our bank account must be reviewed, confirmed as critical and the top of every page of outgoing payments signed by our CFO.

I will personally review and sign every 10th page.

Please examine closely every expense where responsibility is, or probably should be, assigned to your group. If in doubt, assume it is on your plate, so that we don't have anything slip through the cracks.

This will take at least a few weeks to get right. Please don't worry if it isn't correct at first.

This is hardcore, but it is the only way for Tesla to become financially sustainable and succeed in our goal of helping make the world environmentally sustainable.

Thanks again for your excellent work,

Elon

32
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: June 04, 2019, 02:06:40 AM »
Link to accurate estimates

https://www.power-technology.com/features/carbon-capture-cost/

Quote
The Carbon Capture & Storage Association (CCSA) estimated that the earlier CCS projects in the power sector would cost between €60–€90 per tonne of carbon dioxide abated, the equivalent of around $69-$103 per tonne.

The association also predicted that these costs will decline to €35–€50 ($40-$57) in the early 2020s, thanks to technological advancements.

That is, even at best, this technology costs $ 40 per ton. And humanity has emitted into the atmosphere about a trillion tons of carbon dioxide. It means that its binding will cost the world economy 40 trillion dollars or half of today's GDP of the planet.

In the future, this amount will only increase. In this regard, that the climatic problems on Earth can be solved completely unknown. But space colonization offers a completely technically feasible solution.

This is insane

33
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: June 04, 2019, 02:03:07 AM »
Tesla's fundamentals are solid

Fundamentals are solid.......

Musk's email to Employees dated May 16 2019
Quote
That is a lot of money, but actually only gives us approximately ten months at the first-quarter burn rate to achieve breakeven. It's vital that we respect the faith investors have shown in Tesla, but it will require great effort to do so.

That is why, going forward, all expenses of any kind anywhere in the world, including parts, salary, travel expenses, rent, literally every payment that leaves our bank account must be reviewed, confirmed as critical and the top of every page of outgoing payments signed by our CFO.

I will personally review and sign every 10th page.

Please examine closely every expense where responsibility is, or probably should be, assigned to your group. If in doubt, assume it is on your plate, so that we don't have anything slip through the cracks.

This will take at least a few weeks to get right. Please don't worry if it isn't correct at first.

This is hardcore, but it is the only way for Tesla to become financially sustainable and succeed in our goal of helping make the world environmentally sustainable.

Thanks again for your excellent work,

Elon




34
The rest / Re: SpaceX
« on: May 25, 2019, 07:59:54 PM »

In this case, the world space agencies should conclude an agreement on cleaning from inactive satellites of high orbits. Cheap reusable Starship missiles will be out-of-competition for this task.




That sounds like a great idea. Good thing Space Travel is becoming increasingly privatized, and that private companies have an excellent tract record of cleaning up messes.

35
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 25, 2019, 05:00:04 PM »
Everyone please read this entire speech. Especially you Neil.

<It was a long read, hence the late approval. It's not on-topic either (social media thread or some such would be better), but I'll let it stand; N.>


Quote
I am only a small minnow in the technology ocean, but since it is my natural habitat, I want to make an effort to describe it to you.

As computer programmers, our formative intellectual experience is working with deterministic systems that have been designed by other human beings. These can be very complex, but the complexity is not the kind we find in the natural world. It is ultimately always tractable. Find the right abstractions, and the puzzle box opens before you.

The feeling of competence, control and delight in discovering a clever twist that solves a difficult problem is what makes being a computer programmer sometimes enjoyable.

But as anyone who's worked with tech people knows, this intellectual background can also lead to arrogance. People who excel at software design become convinced that they have a unique ability to understand any kind of system at all, from first principles, without prior training, thanks to their superior powers of analysis. Success in the artificially constructed world of software design promotes a dangerous confidence.

Today we are embarked on a great project to make computers a part of everyday life. As Marc Andreessen memorably frames it, "software is eating the world". And those of us writing the software expect to be greeted as liberators.

Our intentions are simple and clear. First we will instrument, then we will analyze, then we will optimize. And you will thank us.

But the real world is a stubborn place. It is complex in ways that resist abstraction and modeling. It notices and reacts to our attempts to affect it. Nor can we hope to examine it objectively from the outside, any more than we can step out of our own skin.

The connected world we're building may resemble a computer system, but really it's just the regular old world from before, with a bunch of microphones and keyboards and flat screens sticking out of it. And it has the same old problems.

Approaching the world as a software problem is a category error that has led us into some terrible habits of mind.

BAD MENTAL HABITS

First, programmers are trained to seek maximal and global solutions. Why solve a specific problem in one place when you can fix the general problem for everybody, and for all time? We don't think of this as hubris, but as a laudable economy of effort. And the startup funding culture of big risk, big reward encourages this grandiose mode of thinking. There is powerful social pressure to avoid incremental change, particularly any change that would require working with people outside tech and treating them as intellectual equals.

Second, treating the world as a software project gives us a rationale for being selfish. The old adage has it that if you are given ten minutes to cut down a tree, you should spend the first five sharpening your axe. We are used to the idea of bootstrapping ourselves into a position of maximum leverage before tackling a problem.

In the real world, this has led to a pathology where the tech sector maximizes its own comfort. You don't have to go far to see this. Hop on BART after the conference and take a look at Oakland, or take a stroll through downtown San Francisco and try to persuade yourself you're in the heart of a boom that has lasted for forty years. You'll see a residential theme park for tech workers, surrounded by areas of poverty and misery that have seen no benefit and ample harm from our presence. We pretend that by maximizing our convenience and productivity, we're hastening the day when we finally make life better for all those other people.

Third, treating the world as software promotes fantasies of control. And the best kind of control is control without responsibility. Our unique position as authors of software used by millions gives us power, but we don't accept that this should make us accountable. We're programmers—who else is going to write the software that runs the world? To put it plainly, we are surprised that people seem to get mad at us for trying to help.

Fortunately we are smart people and have found a way out of this predicament. Instead of relying on algorithms, which we can be accused of manipulating for our benefit, we have turned to machine learning, an ingenious way of disclaiming responsibility for anything. Machine learning is like money laundering for bias. It's a clean, mathematical apparatus that gives the status quo the aura of logical inevitability. The numbers don't lie.

Of course, people obsessed with control have to eventually confront the fact of their own extinction. The response of the tech world to death has been enthusiastic. We are going to fix it. Google Ventures, for example, is seriously funding research into immortality. Their head VC will call you a "deathist" for pointing out that this is delusional.

Such fantasies of control come with a dark side. Witness the current anxieties about an artificial superintelligence, or Elon Musk's apparently sincere belief that we're living in a simulation. For a computer programmer, that's the ultimate loss of control. Instead of writing the software, you are the software.

We obsess over these fake problems while creating some real ones.

In our attempt to feed the world to software, techies have built the greatest surveillance apparatus the world has ever seen. Unlike earlier efforts, this one is fully mechanized and in a large sense autonomous. Its power is latent, lying in the vast amounts of permanently stored personal data about entire populations.

We started out collecting this information by accident, as part of our project to automate everything, but soon realized that it had economic value. We could use it to make the process self-funding. And so mechanized surveillance has become the economic basis of the modern tech industry.

SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM

Surveillance capitalism has some of the features of a zero-sum game. The actual value of the data collected is not clear, but it is definitely an advantage to collect more than your rivals do. Because human beings develop an immune response to new forms of tracking and manipulation, the only way to stay successful is to keep finding novel ways to peer into people's private lives. And because much of the surveillance economy is funded by speculators, there is an incentive to try flashy things that will capture the speculators' imagination, and attract their money.

This creates a ratcheting effect where the behavior of ever more people is tracked ever more closely, and the collected information retained, in the hopes that further dollars can be squeezed out of it.

Just like industrialized manufacturing changed the relationship between labor and capital, surveillance capitalism is changing the relationship between private citizens and the entities doing the tracking. Our old ideas about individual privacy and consent no longer hold in a world where personal data is harvested on an industrial scale.

Those who benefit from the death of privacy attempt to frame our subjugation in terms of freedom, just like early factory owners talked about the sanctity of contract law. They insisted that a worker should have the right to agree to anything, from sixteen-hour days to unsafe working conditions, as if factory owners and workers were on an equal footing.

Companies that perform surveillance are attempting the same mental trick. They assert that we freely share our data in return for valuable services. But opting out of surveillance capitalism is like opting out of electricity, or cooked foods—you are free to do it in theory. In practice, it will upend your life.

Many of you had to obtain a US visa to attend this conference. The customs service announced yesterday it wants to start asking people for their social media profiles. Imagine trying to attend your next conference without a LinkedIn profile, and explaining to the American authorities why you are so suspiciously off the grid.

The reality is, opting out of surveillance capitalism means opting out of much of modern life.

We're used to talking about the private and public sector in the real economy, but in the surveillance economy this boundary doesn't exist. Much of the day-to-day work of surveillance is done by telecommunications firms, which have a close relationship with government. The techniques and software of surveillance are freely shared between practitioners on both sides. All of the major players in the surveillance economy cooperate with their own country's intelligence agencies, and are spied on (very effectively) by all the others.

As a technologist, this state of affairs gives me the feeling of living in a forest that is filling up with dry, dead wood. The very personal, very potent information we're gathering about people never goes away, only accumulates. I don't want to see the fire come, but at the same time, I can't figure out a way to persuade other people of the great danger.

So I try to spin scenarios.

THE INEVITABLE LIST OF SCARY SCENARIOS

One of the candidates running for President this year has promised to deport eleven million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, as well as block Muslims from entering the country altogether. Try to imagine this policy enacted using the tools of modern technology. The FBI would subpoena Facebook for information on every user born abroad. Email and phone conversations would be monitored to check for the use of Arabic or Spanish, and sentiment analysis applied to see if the participants sounded "nervous". Social networks, phone metadata, and cell phone tracking would lead police to nests of hiding immigrants.

We could do a really good job deporting people if we put our minds to it.

Or consider the other candidate running for President, the one we consider the sane alternative, who has been a longtime promoter of a system of extrajudicial murder that uses blanket surveillance of cell phone traffic, email, and social media to create lists of people to be tracked and killed with autonomous aircraft. The system presumably includes points of human control (we don't know because it's secret), but there's no reason in principle it could not be automated. Get into the wrong person's car in Yemen, and you lose your life.

That this toolchain for eliminating enemies of the state is only allowed to operate in poor, remote places is a comfort to those of us who live elsewhere, but you can imagine scenarios where a mass panic would broaden its scope.

Or imagine what the British surveillance state, already the worst in Europe, is going to look like in two years, when it's no longer bound by the protections of European law, and economic crisis has driven the country further into xenophobia.

Or take an example from my home country, Poland. Abortion has been illegal in Poland for some time, but the governing party wants to tighten restrictions on abortion by investigating every miscarriage as a potential crime. Women will basically be murder suspects if they lose their baby. Imagine government agents combing your Twitter account, fitness tracker logs, credit card receipts and private communications for signs of potential pregnancy, with the results reported to the police to proactively protect your unborn baby.

We tend to imagine dystopian scenarios as one where a repressive government uses technology against its people. But what scares me in these scenarios is that each one would have broad social support, possibly majority support. Democratic societies sometimes adopt terrible policies.

When we talk about the moral economy of tech, we must confront the fact that we have created a powerful tool of social control. Those who run the surveillance apparatus understand its capabilities in a way the average citizen does not. My greatest fear is seeing the full might of the surveillance apparatus unleashed against a despised minority, in a democratic country.

What we've done as technologists is leave a loaded gun lying around, in the hopes that no one will ever pick it up and use it.

CONCLUSION

The first step towards a better tech economy is humility and recognition of limits. It's time to hold technology politically accountable for its promises. I am very suspicious of attempts to change the world that can't first work on a local scale. If after decades we can't improve quality of life in places where the tech élite actually lives, why would we possibly make life better anywhere else?

We should not listen to people who promise to make Mars safe for human habitation, until we have seen them make Oakland safe for human habitation. We should be skeptical of promises to revolutionize transportation from people who can't fix BART, or have never taken BART. And if Google offers to make us immortal, we should check first to make sure we'll have someplace to live.

Techies will complain that trivial problems of life in the Bay Area are hard because they involve politics. But they should involve politics. Politics is the thing we do to keep ourselves from murdering each other. In a world where everyone uses computers and software, we need to exercise democratic control over that software.

Second, the surveillance economy is way too dangerous. Even if you trust everyone spying on you right now, the data they're collecting will eventually be stolen or bought by people who scare you. We have no ability to secure large data collections over time.

The goal should be not to make the apparatus of surveillance politically accountable (though that is a great goal), but to dismantle it. Just like we don't let countries build reactors that produce plutonium, no matter how sincere their promises not to misuse it, we should not allow people to create and indefinitely store databases of personal information. The risks are too high.

I think a workable compromise will be to allow all kinds of surveillance, but limit what anyone is allowed to store or sell.

More broadly, we have to stop treating computer technology as something unprecedented in human history. Not every year is Year Zero. This is not the first time an enthusiastic group of nerds has decided to treat the rest of the world as a science experiment. Earlier attempts to create a rationalist Utopia failed for interesting reasons, and since we bought those lessons at a great price, it would be a shame not to learn them.

There is also prior art in attempts at achieving immortality, limitless wealth, and Galactic domination. We even know what happens if you try to keep dossiers on an entire country.

If we're going to try all these things again, let's at least learn from our past, so we can fail in interesting new ways, instead of failing in the same exasperating ways as last time.

https://idlewords.com/talks/sase_panel.htm

36
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 25, 2019, 02:25:05 PM »
least obsolescent?!?! Because of..... Software!?!?!?! I do work similar to an industrial mechanic, I fix my own cars/motorcycles, and I help at a non-profit where I fix tools for the community.  There has never been a situation where software would have fixed anything, let alone something designed for obsolescence. And do you think that "traditional car manufacturers" don't use software? Like, do you even know how a modern ICE car operates? The entire fuel system is mapped through software, which can be updated!!!!!!!

Modern engines have at least 35 ASICS monitoring and managing the engine.  However the design performance is governed by the physical engineering which creates the stresses and strains on the engine.  The "software" can do little to tune that and save the engine.

On an EV, the entire drivetrain from the battery power source to the actual drive power output is governed and monitored by an array of sensors and ASICS all controlled by a very powerful, reprogrammable, CPU.  The comparison is facile.  It is entirely possible for a Tesla to have a software update that changes the power profile so that bearing damaging vibration does not happen in many acceleration profiles.

On an ICE, the way it burns fuel is governed by physical things like chamber shape, cam profiles and valve ports.  Software can only tune the timing and volume of fuel injected.  Modern vehicles can (and do), monitor oil quality in the engine and suggest changing it.  Vital for the ICE as the oil comes into contact with some of the burning gasses.  The Tesla electrical drivetrain is sealed and minimal maintenance.

I've been driven by a recovery truck with 1m KM on it and my son has been in a Peugeot 406 diesel taxi with 750,000 miles on it.  The truck was original.  The taxi had to have the gearbox changed every 2 years, although the engine was original and had not been rebuilt.

If you want to get into the serious parts of just why an EV would be good for 1m miles, you have to look at much more.  Automatic gearboxes require an oil which can be used to actuate the brake bands on the epicyclic gearbox, it is too thin to provide the level of protection required.  Manual gearboxes have moving gear cogs and the synchromesh units are designed to wear instead of the cog teeth.

Then there is the difference between a smooth and constantly accelerating EV motor and the constant on/off profile of an ICE which must work through the gears at radically changing torque values in order to get the vehicle moving and keep it moving.

So, yes, SOFTWARE, in an EV, can make a fundamental difference in the longevity of the vehicle.  Orders of magnitude more than it does in an ICE.

I was a mechanic, I am in IT.  I live both worlds.  Tesla is correct about their claims.

Neil.... It would be ridiculous for me to argue against the inherent mechanical benefits of an electric power train over combustion.  But that's not what I was doing. Sigmetnow specifically stated that Tesla's vehicles were the least obsolescence because of over-the-air software updates. And you responded with a bunch of mechanical benefits of EV powertrains, which I agree with, but it is not what we are discussing. The only software related point you made was changing the profile of the motor to prevent vibration damage....Which.... Surprise surprise, same thing happens with combustion engines. vibration analysis (design and in the field) is a big deal for my line of work.

I don't even think over-the-air updates are a bad thing. But to suggest that Tesla's are in a class of their own because of the updates is completely unfounded. The only good examples of Tesla using over-the-air updates is when they tried to fix their existing software failures. Like spontaneously combusting, decapitating their driver, crashing into firetrucks, and the popular "bricking".  Things that should have been figured out in the early design stage..... That's why other car manufacturers don't need to use over-the-air updates, because they build cars that actually work out of the gate (for the most part, I guess).  Good Manufacturing Practices. Unlike Tesla, who relies on over-the-air updates because they've adopted the fast and loose development style of Silicon Valley: "let's rush it out, and fix it later".  That works fine for video games, but not safety critical applications like vehicles.

I know you are super smart Neil. And I know that you desperately want every word that drips out of your mouth taken seriously and factually. But unfortunately, more often than not, you are wrong. I posted evidence of reliability issues in Tesla's, you replied with a bunch of words trying to sound smart. It's meaningless. Try better next time please. 

37
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 25, 2019, 02:00:32 AM »

I wouldn't be so sure.  A car that can go 400k miles with a low cost/mile is pretty sustainable.

Building 7.5 billion cars is not sustainable jesus christ why is this so difficult to understand.

38
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 24, 2019, 01:04:40 PM »
Quote
...full of high-tech perceived/planned obsolescence...

Whoah.  You can gripe about car reviews not proving future market share superiority (although I tend to disagree), but with Tesla’s Over The Air updates, they are the least obsolescent of any vehicle on the road today.  Even the Computer Hardware for Full Self Driving was designed to be easily swapped out for the upgraded version — for free.

And with a motor and drive train good for a million miles, and battery packs headed in that direction, too, it beats any ICE car, hands down.

The motor and drive train are not good for a million miles. There is a big difference between laboratory testing and practical implementation. Every single manufacturer can produce similar results.....

Tesla even had problems with their drive trains!
Quote
a new analysis of data provided to Plug-In America by 327 owners of early Tesla Model S cars suggests that as many as two-thirds of those early Model S drivetrains will need to be replaced within 60,000 miles.
https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1101153_two-thirds-of-earliest-tesla-drive-trains-to-fail-Now

And lost their high Consumer Reports because of reliability!!!!
Quote
Owners report problems with paint, trim, and electronics in Consumer Reports' survey
https://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/tesla-model-3-loses-cr-recommendation-over-reliability-issues/


------

least obsolescent?!?! Because of..... Software!?!?!?! I do work similar to an industrial mechanic, I fix my own cars/motorcycles, and I help at a non-profit where I fix tools for the community.  There has never been a situation where software would have fixed anything, let alone something designed for obsolescence. And do you think that "traditional car manufacturers" don't use software? Like, do you even know how a modern ICE car operates? The entire fuel system is mapped through software, which can be updated!!!!!!!



I wish you would read Musk’s Master Plan 1 & 2 again.  There is no carmaker more driven to sustainability than Tesla.  Years ago, Musk put his entire personal fortune into keeping that dream alive.  And arguably, in doing that he changed an entire industry.

Musk flies around in his own personal private jet. Weird that someone who scarified his personal fortune still lives in a mansion(s)....




How much money have you lost on Tesla Stock?

39
The United States Military budget is enough money to decarbonize the entire developing world's electrical grid.

40
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 21, 2019, 02:38:25 PM »
I am super envious of the cool Enhanced Summon tech. One of the first things I thought of when fighting climate change was "People should walk less. That 30 foot walk to their parking spot is holding our society back. Let's invent a convoluted way to transport a 2 tonne vehicle to move 30 feet so we don't have to. Amazing. The future is brilliant"

<It's off-topic, but it's short and I agree. I'm going to be sooo envious. Another example where consumer culture solves AGW.  ;) ; N.>

41
The USA is an exception as it is founded on multiculturalism and has always been based on immigrants. I think they are a strength for the US.

"Founded on multiculturalism" for bbr means genociding the indigenous population and enslaving colored folk. We can have many cultures, but those "other" cultures need to know their place.

bbr is a fascist asshole, but for some reason my posts are moderated and not his...

<snip, bbr has also been on and off moderation, it depends in a large part on how much you lash out at others; N.>

42
BAU is genocide.  So is eliminating food and transportation for 7 billion people without replacement technologies.

1/3 of all food produced is wasted. Yet, 850 million people are going to bed hungry, and 9 million people die of hunger each year.

From the ER thread:
Politics, economics and culture all need energy, plastics, transportation, healthcare, education and food. All those things in turn have the potential for CO2 emissions.

That is a wicked problem because it can't be solved with political campaigns, economic policy or cultural shifts alone. The problem must be solved by using science and engineering before politics, economics and culture changes can implement the solution.


Are you a robot Archimid? You are completely obsessed with technology and lack any faith in humanity. I think the only time you mention a person/movement that can help stop climate change is Elon Musk. I'm concerned that you're fixated on something that is eventually going to disappoint you and hurt you badly.

<snip, this goes for all of us; N.>

43
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 19, 2019, 03:13:09 PM »
Extinction rebelion is not about changing the political system, but about taking better decisions, making pressure without violence, so there is nothing I can say against them. In politics, the aim is the path. Everybody wants a better world, what you vote for is how to get there.

The decisions that have lead to climate change are rational decisions within the existing political system.

If the extinction rebellion isn't willing to change the political system, then it will fail to meet its goals.


44
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 18, 2019, 11:54:23 PM »
I'm going to go ahead and say that degrowth is an inherently violent ideology, and it is why ecofascists seem so attracted to it.

There is no reason we can't grow our economies while combating climate change.  In fact, it is necessary to do so, especially in the global south where hundreds of millions do not have the infrastructure to protect themselves from the devastating effects of climate change.

We can grow, but it can't be for the sake of profit, but rather for the benefit of mankind. Organizing our resources that is both sustainable and improves the condition of workers through better services, technology, culture, and community shouldn't be so hard to imagine.  But it requires state bureaucracies with interests that serve the people. Cuba being a great example of a state which has implemented a phenomenal climate change plan, but much of its credit is due to a worker controlled state bureaucracy.

The alternative is degrowth - How are countries like Bangladesh and Nigeria, that are now highly dependent on global capitalist economy supposed to degrow? Degrowth makes sense in places like Canada, US, EU, UK where we have the tools to take care of ourselves. What does degrowth look like in a country that are giant sweatshops or open-pit mines that exist to serve the West? Does anybody have an answer to that question? Or do we just let them die? Who here wants to tell the Pakistani people we stopped building air conditioners and they need to find an alternative way to cool themselves off as the wet bulb temperature exceeds 35°C

45
My original post was correcting the difference between social democracy and socialism. This thread has a common trend of mixing up terms and misunderstanding economic concepts.  You and b_lumenkraft made the mistake of confusing terms, wittingly or not....
I provided some analysis as to why you may have done that, and why it's important to use the correct terminology. Instead of having a reasonable debate, you responded with "I know exactly what all this means, and it is YOU that is misinterpreting context. I made no mistake!"

What would you like me to do Lurk? I shouldn't correct economic misconceptions in the economics thread? I should just assume everyone is as super smart as you, and can make the distinction between social democracy and socialism? And that any misconceptions should be brushed off as CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT, Don't you understand Context!!!!!

46
Jeez calm down, no need to make a war out of it. This isn't ASIF University and this isn't the Economics Dept Tutorial Room being run by a resident PhD student. It's just a thread on a forum.

You're turning a couple of tongue in cheek humourous "political" comments into hard assed Economics and declaring them wanting and not good enough. Chill.

That being said, the term socialism is has been utterly abused and debased in modern language - that just the way it is. Meanings of words are constantly changing all the time to varying degrees and then you have jargon that fits more specific meanings in certain contexts.

The discussion you entered was a mainstream modern day political orientated discussion partly taking the piss out of the hyperbolic ravings against "socialism" in the US, especially  by Trump and co (imho) where everything unwanted is declared "socialism" to be defended with arms if necessary. A word/idea misused by people who do not have much of clue about anything, and certainly are not honest nor genuine but ideological extremists instead.

There's more than enough "space" in this thread to discuss both hard arsed economic definitions and allsoran mainstream political versions of the same words be they "capitalism" or "socialism" imho.

And contrary to your assertion/s I am not falling for anything. ;)



You don't need to be so defensive. You can only call something tongue in cheek when your audience knows the difference.
This entire thread is filled with misconceptions, bias, and propaganda regarding socialism/communism. In fact, this entire forum has difficult time understanding basic economic concepts. 

Is it too much to ask for people to use the terms correctly, instead of using appropriated language by mainstream Media?

Would you do that for anything else?
Should we use the term "Enhanced Interrogation" instead of Torture, because that's what the CIA likes to call it?
Should we use the term "racially charged" instead of racism, because that's how the news likes to report it?
Should we use the term "weather system changes" instead of "climate change catastrophe", because that's what the deniers like to call it?



47
Policy and solutions / Re: Tesla glory/failure
« on: May 18, 2019, 08:47:16 PM »
Unlike a battery, the voltage of a capacitor changes substantially when it is discharged/charged. If I remember correctly, this is a major obstacle when integrating a capacitor into an battery EV power system, as the electronics and/or the motor would have to be redesigned significantly to accommodate.

48
Yes, in a historical/philosophical context you are right.




It's not a historical/philosophical context though!!!
Cuba is an existing socialist state.  In fact, it has one of the most impressive climate change policies in the world! Which can be credited to Socialism! And against all odds! Considering the most powerful nation of world, The United States of America, has imposed decades long sanctions, committed hundreds of assassination attempts on its leaders, and even violently invaded the country!

What does climate change action look like in socialist state?

Quote
Irma lent new urgency to a plan, called Tarea Vida, or Project Life, adopted last spring by Cuba’s Council of Ministers. A decade in the making, the program bans construction of new homes in threatened coastal areas, mandates relocating people from communities doomed by rising sea levels, calls for an overhaul of the country’s agricultural system to shift crop production away from saltwater-contaminated areas, and spells out the need to shore up coastal defenses, including by restoring degraded habitat. “The overarching idea,” says Salabarría Fernández, “is to increase the resilience of vulnerable communities.”
https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/01/cuba-embarks-100-year-plan-protect-itself-climate-change



Quote

ELEVEN TASKS INCLUDED IN STATE PLAN "TAREA VIDA"

TASK 1: Identify and implement actions and projects to adapt to climate change, of a comprehensive, ongoing nature, needed to reduce existing vulnerability in the 15 identified priority zones. To be considered, to determine the order of these actions, are the population threatened, their physical safety and food security, and the development of tourism.

TASK 2: Implement legal norms needed to execute the state plan, as well as assure their strict enforcement, with particular attention to measures directed toward vulnerability of constructed properties, prioritizing threatened coastal communities.

TASK 3: Conserve, maintain, and recover the Cuban archipelago's sandy beaches, prioritizing those urbanized for tourist use and reducing the structural vulnerability of constructed properties.

TASK 4: Assure the availability and efficient use of water as part of confronting drought, on the basis of technology for conservation and satisfying the demands of locations. Improve water infrastructure and its maintenance, while taking action to measure the efficient and productive use of water.

TASK 5: Direct reforestation toward providing maximum protection of soils and water in terms of both quantity and quality, as well as the recovery of the most affected mangroves. Prioritize reservoirs, canals, and the regulatory banks of tributaries leading to the island's principal bays and coasts.

TASK 6: Stop deterioration, renovate, and protect coral reefs throughout the archipelago, with priority for those bordering the insular platform, and protect urbanized beaches used for tourist purposes. Avoid over-fishing of species that benefit corals.

TASK 7: Maintain, and add to plans, territorial and urban land use stipulations that emerged from the Macro-project on Dangers and Vulnerability of Coastal Zones 2050-2100, as well as Studies of Dangers, Vulnerability, and Risks in the disaster preparedness effort. Employ this information as an early warning to make decisions.

           

TASK 8: Implement and supervise implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, which emerge from sector policies in programs, plans, and projects linked to food security, renewable energy, energy efficiency, land use, fishing, agriculture, health, tourism, construction, transport, industry, and the comprehensive management of forests.

TASK 9: Strengthen monitoring systems, vigilance, and early warning plans to systematically evaluate the condition and quality of coastal zones, water, drought, forests, as well as human and plant health.

TASK l0: Prioritize measures and actions to increase risk perception, understanding of, and participation by the entire population in confronting climate change, and a culture that promotes water conservation.


TASK 11: Manage and use international financial resources available, both those from global and regional climate funds, as well as bilateral sources, to make investments, carry out actions, and implement projects related to the tasks outlined in the state plan.
http://en.granma.cu/cuba/2018-04-12/climate-change-brings-transformations-in-cuba





But in a modern American context, socialism is used for politics that would be described as social democratic in Europe (i.e. basic infrastructure (healthcare, internet, water, power, etc) should be in public hand, there should be a robust welfare state, strong measures against inequality via taxing, strong regulations for customer and environment protection, etc,). Bernie Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, he has no intention to expropriate the means of production though. His definition of socialism allows for a free market in most branches of the economy.

Bernie Sanders:
Quote
"So the next time you hear me attacked as a socialist, remember this: I don't believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal."

Just because an American is fucking up the definition of the word, we have to immediately assume his new definition? That doesn't make any sense! So let me get this straight... Social democracy is now socialism, socialism is now communism, and communism is actually.... super communism? And what is social democracy then? Neoliberalism? What's going on!! why can't we just use the terms the way they're meant to be!

49
Policy and solutions / Re: Extinction Rebellion
« on: May 18, 2019, 08:12:17 PM »
It's critical that we dispose of the idea that climate change action is against the status quo. Only some of the methods (especially the most effective ones) conflict with the status quo. The wealthy and powerful are fully aware of climate change, and they want to prevent it just as much as you do, but they want to do it on their own terms.

The Extinction Rebellion is proudly non-violent and non-revolutionary (reformist).
ER claims that it gets its inspiration from the Civil Rights movement. Which is slightly ironic because the largest gains of the Civil Rights Movement were made from the militant and revolutionary Black Panthers.

The Black Panthers and their communities were forced to arm themselves to prevent the violence, murdering, lynching, raping of their members. They also educated their members in Marxist ideology and revolutionary action. The Black Panthers created community support systems, from trades worker (plumbing, electricians), to schooling, to meals.  They were incredibly successful at empowering their communities and black people. So successful that their entire leadership was eventually murdered or subverted by the State and State backed white supremacists. .

The Black Panthers were replaced by pacifistic movements that had closer ties to the state, and legislation was passed to calm racial tensions. Was the Civil Rights movement a resounding success that should be emulated? I'm not too sure....






It may have not been a complete success for the black population, but it was a great success for the State and White supremacists. They honed their skill in dismantling revolutionary movements, while continuing to systematically oppress colored citizens. 

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It's important to understand how effective and experienced hegemonic powers are at using movements to further their interests. Through financing, cooptation, weapons, legal measures, media, diplomacy, assassinations, and torture. Examples of such tactics are seen in the civil rights moment, labour movements, indigenous movements, occupy movement, feminist movements, and the seemingly endless amount of Western backed Coups on foreign soil.

What does this all have to do with Extinction Rebellion? The Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg are not confronting existing power structures. This is great for the powerful, because the threat of climate change catastrophe would absolutely inspire revolutionary action. Allowing ER to thrive will displace any revolutionary movements with the reformism demanded by ER.

Now, if I was an influential businessperson, like the CEO of a large multinational. I would be loving this. Because I know something must be done about climate change. It would be ridiculous to think otherwise. But I can manage the transition so that I could benefit, and even improve my position.

As people get more and more desperate, they are willing to make bigger and bigger concessions.  I could capitalize on that desperation, just like I have done with neoliberal austerity.  Instead of passing bills that nationalize the energy industry, let’s pass legislation that subsidizes my electric vehicle company. Instead of re-distributing the wealth of the rich, lets increase income taxes and cut services to pay for my new wind farm.  Carbon Tax? No, let’s do cap-and-trade, and I can structure it so I profit greatly off the credits

I can solve climate change (in the western nations) while profiting immensely. I just have to make sure that any popular movements support my actions, and Extinction Rebellion is perfect for that. I’ll take my time with it since nobody is really challenging me. In the meantime, I’ll still profit immensely from my fossil fuel focused sectors, but I’ll transition eventually.  This delay may result in millions of dying in the Global South. But no one really cares about the global south, if they did, we would see the same people in the streets protesting the western backed genocide in Yemen.

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Socialism is the democratic ownership of the means of production

No, this is communism.

?

Communism is the final stage after a socialist society. It's where every individual has been fully emancipated, and work is done by need and ability. This utopian society is something far far far away in the future. And it's incredibly difficult to envision.
The closest example of communism would be pre-agrarian egalitarian societies, small groups of people equally distributing work, and worked as much as necessary. Many indigenous societies that were genocided by colonialists actually practiced something very close to communism! Cool! Too bad we murdered them, rapped them, enslaved them, and any living members today are forced into destitute reservations where they get to experience poverty for the rest of their lives! Capitalism wins!

Socialism is the necessary step to communism. Because there's no lever in the catacombs of society that is conveniently labeled "utopia". It's not something that happens overnight. It requires struggle and effort to achieve utopia. Socialism is that transition.

Socialism is the democratic ownership of the means of production.  It uses a democratically elected bureaucracy that organizes the economy that is in the best benefit for it's citizens, rather than capitalist state bureaucracy that organizes the economy that achieves the greatest profits for the capitalist class. This is not a controversial statement. I'm not sure why you are disagreeing with me. Does socialism actually mean something else? was there a secret meeting where 19th century economic thinkers rose from the dead and decided that socialism means something completely different?

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