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#1 2002-06-30 14:24:30

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

All anyone can do here is say what they'd like to see happen politically on mars, so here goes my stab at it.

Zubrin's ideas are safe and dandy, which is an o.k. thing to do, and most of those principles have worked out for the better, but I'd like to introduce a few more things.

First thing is the mars society is about expanding humanities presence in the universe, and securing its future by doing so.  A principle of our should be that humanity like life is about surviving.  Humanity is a technological version of life; in other words, it secures its survival by technology and knowledge.  The following principles follow.  What physical conditions exist?  What is our physical conditions?  What do we need to do to secure our future?

Money is not needed.  The cost of something is really the amount of material and energy needed to make something happen.  We should just know what our current condition is, both our own physical condition and the outside environment condition, know that we are trying to survive, and calculate, engineer our way to the future securities.

Another principle.  I think to much has been made about voting.  Voting is o.k. when you have a choice, but a leader should be somebody competent.  We shouldn't be voting between the competent and the incompetent.  Untill there's a situation where we have two or more competent people to chose from, voting doesn't need to exist.  We should be able to just follow the above principles.  When new conditions come about, new knowledge is revealed, who was competent may not be anymore; those are the times when power should shift.  The only thing those put in power are allowed to do is to make the decision to go through with the ideas calculated to ensure our survival.  Any political manuevering for or against some individual(s), for personal reason's not involving our future survival are allowed to be made by those in power.  They shouldn't get to be our parents deciding what we get to clothes we chose or whatever else.

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#2 2002-07-02 00:45:04

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: My political ideas

Hi oker56!
   Your political ideas are so beautifully simple and idealistic and I wish they could work. Actually I'm surprised Josh and Clark haven't eaten you for breakfast on this one!
   The most obvious problem with your system is determining who is "competent", as you put it. Most people who vote for one type of political party will be happy to inform you that the other party or parties are incompetent! In a simplified form, that's WHY we have to have voting. There's almost never unanimous agreement as to who's competent and who isn't!!
   The other fly in the ointment is that not everyone has the best interests of all the people at heart. Even if you identify someone as competent, you can't be sure s/he isn't sly, dishonest and self-serving .... and extremely competent at gathering more and more power into his or her own hands! Sad to say, but not everyone is pure of heart like you and me, oker56!
   Wherever there are people, there's politics. And politics is the dirtiest game in town because it's run by people. I think it was Mark Twain who said: "The last person in the world you should ever vote for, is someone who puts himself up for election."!
   As for your ideas about money, I'm afraid greed will forever blight your good intentions. You and I might be able to place the wealth and safety of the colony above our own desire for self-enrichment, but there will always be others at the mercy of their baser instincts. Some of them even end up as politicians!!
                                          wink


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#3 2002-07-02 09:14:58

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: My political ideas

Money is not needed.  The cost of something is really the amount of material and energy needed to make something happen.  We should just know what our current condition is, both our own physical condition and the outside environment condition, know that we are trying to survive,  and calculate, engineer our way to the future securities.[/quote:post_uid0]

Money is not needed? What will you use for incentive then? Everyone is going to just pitch in and help, doing what needs to be done? Who decides who does what? I'm sure you would have the pick of the crop when it comes to choosing who wil be the Dashing Piolt, or maybe the Handy Engineer, or the Friendly Doctor- but who will want to be Dirty Septic Tank Cleaner? How about the Grimy Dish Washer? Your plan is predicated on everyone seeing what is neccessary for survival- what happens when there is a difference of opinion on what is and isn't neccessary for survuval? Say I can't live without my MTV, but you can- who is right? How is it settled? How is it equitable so all sides have their voices heard?

No vote is ever considered until there are two or more "compentant" people- who determines if someone is "compentent"? How do you realistically determine that someone is "incompentant" BEFORE they do the job?

Who calculates what is neccessary for our survival? How do they determine that, what is the criteria?

So far, you have presented a very weak case. keep trying.

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#4 2002-07-02 09:22:41

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

Considering some of the posts I've seen latelly, I see that some people just don't see the big picture, at least the way I do.  Maybe I'm wrong, but then again, maybe they are?  I was tempted to remark that scientist seem to figure out who's competent and who's not; oops, looks like I let that one out.  Still,  the problem I'm seeing that you are refering to is recognizing the same understanding, or philosophy, or the human condition.  If we could all understand the central role of science and technology in the human condition, then I don't see the problem with what I'm proposing, but not everyone sees that as I've seen on these messageboards since I've gotten here a week ago.  In my experience, those who don't understand will never understand. 

I'll leave with the point that I wouldn't be surprised if science is a dominating fact of life out in space.  Out in space, a scientific understanding of every aspect of life is required.  Purhaps this is the reason why some want terraforming: to create another mother earth to take care of all the little things so that we don't have to know everything scientifically.

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#5 2002-07-02 09:32:08

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

Looks like clark came in just when I was replying.  In responce to clark, one way of determining what's right for survival is to go out and survive.  If there are multiple way's of doing so then yes, of course, you can either vote, or the possibility is that each idea can be done at the same time.  Certainly, two different people's style of pottery are different, but that is not something to worry about.

Survival is your incentive.  You bring up exactly what money is; a social control and nothing more.  The problem with those who think money is necessary because of 'incentive' is that money is not necessary.  The only reason any money mongers can get anybody to believe that is because those who are convinced of it are not educated enough to survive alone.  Survival alone is possible, at least on mother earth.  Out in space including an unterraformed mars on the other hand will not be possible to survive alone, at least not without molecular nanotechnology.  However, out in space, science and technology is so required for survival at all that voting on the incompetent versus the competent is like playing russian roulette(not that doing so on mother earth isn't; it's just a matter of degree).  Out there, we're going to need somebody who know's what the freak they're doing.

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#6 2002-07-02 09:58:33

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: My political ideas

I was tempted to remark that scientist seem to figure out who's competent and who's not; oops, looks like I let that one out.  [/quote:post_uid0]

What makes a scientist better at choosing who is and who isn't compotent? Is there a class they take that the rest of the non-scientits are not privy to? Or perhaps it is the title of "scientist" that somehow imbues them with innate wisdom... It is folly to presume that those with certain titles are "better" than those without. What is the CRITERA for determining competency?

If we could all understand the central role of science and technology in the human condition, [/quote:post_uid0]

What central role does science and technology play in the human condition? What IS the human condition? Isn't science and technology merelyt the BYPRODUCT of our intelligence? Isn't the application of science and technology to create tools to affect our environment the real relationship to humanity? If so, isn't science and technology only neccessary to the point where we have control over our environment?

In responce to clark, one way of determining what's right for survival is to go out and survive.[/quote:post_uid0]

I see, so we have to do something FIRST before we vote on it? We can only vote on things concerning our survival, the only way to see if it is right for our survival is to try it, we try to see if it works and then vote.... you are creating a counter intutive system.

If there are multiple way's of doing so then yes,[/quote:post_uid0]

How do you know if there are multiple ways unless you discuss and try first- all of which seems to be precluded from your position.

or the possibility is that each idea can be done at the same  time. [/quote:post_uid0]

In space, there is very limited resources, how do you realistilcy apply the limited resource between ALL possibilities? How do you decide which gets more?

You bring up exactly what money is; a social control and nothing more.[/quote:post_uid0]

You are wrong. Money is a form of bartering. Bartering allows us to trade something we have for something else we need. This trade allows people to SPECIALIZE.

You say that science and technology are part of the human condition, whatever that means, yet you ignore the fact that science and technology are only possible becuase some people are allowed to be Scientists instead of Hunters or Farmers or House builders- this is ALL achieved through Trade, or Bartering- or now commonly referred to as MONEY.

You seem to be woefully mislead in regards to the role of economics and our CURRENT human condition.

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#7 2002-07-02 10:11:15

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

You missed a few quotes, or points to be made. 

I'm affraid I have school to do; i'll certainly get back to you when I can.

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#8 2002-07-02 15:16:49

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

I've come to think that my idea's are equivalent to my point elsewhere civilization has made an irreversible decision towards science and technology.  That our civilization is totally dependant on the continued growth of science and technology to keep it going; otherwise, industrialism would have succumbed to malthusian prediction a long time ago.

I suppose if it makes some happy to think of it as democracy first, and science second; no matter with me!

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#9 2002-07-02 15:30:55

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,278

Re: My political ideas

I've come to think that my idea's are equivalent to my point elsewhere civilization has made an irreversible decision towards science and  technology.[/quote:post_uid0]

Irreversible? Doubtful. If we reject science and technology, what do we have? mysticim? That's science and technology but by a different criteria.

Science is the application of the human mind, technology is the result of that application. We, as a species, are tool makers- we use the one advantage, our brains, to make us better than the competition.

Civilization can only be maintained through improvements in effeciency, not in science and technology.

That our civilization is totally dependant on the continued growth of science and technology to keep it going; otherwise,    industrialism would have succumbed to malthusian prediction a long time ago.[/quote:post_uid0]

What do you base this reasoning on?

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#10 2002-07-03 11:01:41

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: My political ideas

Hello Oker.

So, you’ve got a yearning for a technocracy, eh? 

Well it’s an idea that can be pursued.  However, you should be aware that while letting professional scientists run everyone else’s lives is an easy substitute for educating the general populace, it is not dramatically better.  Also, I’m assuming that the population of a Mars colony is going to start out mostly science literate as a necessity for survival.  An early Mars colony is likely to be filled with scientists, engineers, and other highly educated professional people.  Concentrating scientists in the ruling class is unlikely to change the distribution of skills very much.  Also, scientists are not as efficient at discerning competence as you seem to believe.  They can be just as contentious as any other social group, with all the fudging and self interest that this entails.

I also disagree that voting is useless, though I readily admit that different types of voting systems are better for different situations.  Coming from the United States, I of course favor a constitutional republic with interrelated voting oligarchies, especially one which has checks and balances existing between the oligarchies.  For example, the US State Populations, the US Supreme Court, the US Congress and the US Electoral College are all distinct voting oligarchies whose interplay is part of the same system.  In order for one voting oligarchy to assume more power, it must usurp it from another.  I like that sort of mix and match, because it allows one to use the best voting system for the situation at hand (such as, say, a legislative house comprised mainly of scientists and professionals), then immediately switch to another when it becomes the best choice (like a public referendum).  And it can weed out rash decisions by requiring them to filter through several oligarchies before acceptance.  Also, you should note that a simple binary count (where the only choice is “YES/NO”) is not the only kind available to groups with more than two choices.  The American Physical Society, for example, uses a Borda count in their decisions. 

Some very efficient pattern recognition software employs the mathematical equivalent of voting systems, as do the computer systems on various spacecraft.   Voting isn’t done just because it makes people feel better.  It has mathematically definable uses in decision making.

Oddly, though, I must agree with you on the subject of money – or at least economics.  Sure, an exchange medium is needed, but money is not the only exchange medium.  IMHO, the monetary price of certain essential goods and services no longer reflect their value as accurately as they should when expressed in terms of money in our modern economy.  Food is an example.  So are cellular phone and internet services.  Price has begun to be a very poor reflection of production costs for certain items.  It is as though technology of distribution and/or production has neutralized the relationships between supply and demand in these instances.  The situation may be temporary, the economies of the world may adjust over time, but for now the disparity is almost surreal.  And not a little worrisome.

CME


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#11 2002-07-03 21:37:46

oker56
Banned
Registered: 2002-06-30
Posts: 85

Re: My political ideas

Of course, just like I've said; when push comes to shove, the scientist will have the final say anyway's.  Just look at the white house today.  When George Bush Jr went into office, all the alternate fuel people ran for their lives.  Pretty soon, the economy went downward; bush had to bring in a stimulous package, and with the rest of the world investing their economies into nanotechnology, George Bush Jr had to raise the national science foundation money for each and every succeeding year and increased the nanotech initiative introduced from President Clinton almost to a billion.  However it happens is fine by me, so long as humanity doesn't destroy themselves, but then again that requires a real scientific understanding of humanity and the universe: not likelly in the white house.

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#12 2002-07-04 04:59:29

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: My political ideas

Oddly, though, I must agree with you on the subject of money – or at least economics.  Sure, an exchange medium is needed, but money is not the only exchange medium.  IMHO, the monetary price of certain essential goods and services no longer reflect their value as accurately as they should when expressed in terms of money in our modern economy.  Food is an example.  So are cellular phone and internet services.  Price has begun to be a very poor reflection of production costs for certain items.  It is as though technology of distribution and/or production has neutralized the relationships between supply and demand in these instances.  The situation may be temporary, the economies of the world may adjust over time, but for now the disparity is almost surreal.  And not a little worrisome.

CME[/quote:post_uid0]
Hey, I'm just curious on what you mean by this...you say the prices for food, cell phones and internet services are not accurate representations on what it costs..is it too high or too low?  Bush has just signed a horrible "farm" bill that subsidizes crop production..is this the type of thing you're referring to?

In any modern economy, costs and prices do have a tendency to become distorted; but most of the time, these inbalances do get "worked out" of the system, except when the government begins to meddle with it, such as agricultural supports.  However, my biggest worry concerning today's economic system is the fact that the US is highly dependent on cheap imports from 3rd world countries such as China..what happens when workers in those countries begin demanding "1st world" wages and benefits? 

On Mars, there will be no cheap labor pool to take advantage of, and the relationship between production costs (such as growing food and making clothing) will be very closely tied to what they will have to "pay" for it, whether it be a form of bartering or using plain old cash money.  There is no escaping the fact that human labor is needed to produce the things that we want and need...it's just that us lucky Americans have the advantage of a cheap, worldwide labor pool to get most of these things...something that will definately NOT exist on Mars...

B

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#13 2002-07-05 11:48:52

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: My political ideas

The depression of food prices is often artificial, supported by subsidies and similar programs.  The percentages of final sale prices that are typically paid to individual retailers, shippers and other middlemen often outweighs the percentage paid to individual producers, even though the percentage of production costs borne by each often goes the other way around.

Technology -- not subsidies -- has gradually been driving down cellular phone and internet costs, but with the same effect.  Similar problems loom for those industries, IMHO.

CME


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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