It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Infrastructure Reform AZP

page: 1
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 09:27 PM
link   
As I have mentioned in other posts, I live in the United States. One of the major issues we are facing here is a failing infrastructure. The "infrastructure" of a nation is defined as "the basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society." These include everything from water supply, to roads and bridges, to the electrical grid.

Many of them have been neglected in favor of direct profit. However, this weakens the entire nation even for those who perceive they are profiting from the decisions that have been made.

Instead of properly upgrading systems, we have basically put "band-aids" on the issues whenever they come up. Doing it this way results in a much more profitable bottom line, but the question I ask again is; At what cost?

This is an interesting issue, because to remedy the situation it will require significant amounts of man power, money, and time. But, is it more important to have a functioning nation or to create larger bank accounts? Even those with the large bank accounts will feel the repercussions of a failing infrastructure eventually.

To address the man power factor; We have so many troops overseas fighting wars that are, by and large, creating a negative impression of this nation. While some may be viewed as necessary, we can put our troops to work fighting a war at home. The battle to repair and constantly maintain our vital infrastructure. While it may be considered "civilian" work, I think that many soldiers would much rather be working to improve their own home than risking their lives to acquire resources for entities that will do nothing but hoarde at the expense of our entire nation. A rock-solid infrastructure is also critical to home defense. Meaning, monies invested into it directly create a stronger and more defensible nation should the need arise. It also reduces the effects of any attack, as attacking a strong and healthy system takes much more work to disable than attacking an already weakened structure.

To address the money factor; Annually, the United States spends massive amounts of tax money on items that we generally never see. One of the largest is the defense budget. I have begun to question if we are truly spending as much money as we are, or if the costs are greatly inflated so the money can go where ever the individuals controlling the system want it to go. I am sure everyone has seen the quote that a toilet seat on the space shuttle costs hundreds of dollars.. Does this seat actually cost that much money, or is a front to be able to funnel money into private bank accounts? And in doing so, are those who own these bank accounts benefiting as much from the embezzlement as they would from re-investing it back into the society they reside?

As mentioned before, investing finances into our infrastructure could be directly viewed as a sound investment for our defense budget. Should the need arise, home defense would be exponentially stronger with a solid foundation (infrastructure) to build all actions upon.

Do you think that our infrastructure could use some help? What do you think the best courses of action are to address the constant needs that inevitably arise from maintaining an infrastructure?




posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 10:07 PM
link   
My memory is vague, but didn't we already allocate umpty bazillion dollars to "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects? And, weren't many of those connected to fraud and waste? And I further believe that a large proportion has not yet been spent, because the jobs weren't "shovel-ready."

I could be mistaken on some of those things, but I'm not excited by the track record so far.

And as for getting the money from the huge pot of dollars in the Defense Department? I'm not so sure.

This is a really great web site, I've used it more than once. You can get a general summary, or pretty small details. www.usfederalbudget.us...

The budget for Fiscal Year 2013 shows Health and Human services at $941 Billion, Social Security at $883 Billion, and Department of Defense at $673 Billion, out of a total of $3800 Billion (rounded).

But out of Defense's money, you can't take the $142 Billion for salaries. (You have to pay the returning soldiers, and the unions will probably demand that they get paid union wages, so wages might be doubled) That leaves $531 Billion. Health and retirement benefits have to be paid, that's another $41 Billion, Now we're down to $490 Billion.

But the 2009 America Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $862 Billion. What would a measly $490 Billion accomplish? And we only get the $490 Billion figure if we totally eliminate the military. No active duty troops, nor reserve or guard, no fuel for planes and vehicles, just shut it all down.

I like your goal, but we need a different way to get there.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 05:36 AM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 


sorry serdgiam. No matter how much I try to read your articles, all I can think of is one person monopolising 6 out of the 8 new topics on ats and my head can't get past it. so even if they are really really pertinent and super great articles, I guess I will miss out on any profound info. Oh well, my loss I guess. Good luck with your posts. I'll come back in a while when there are a variety of authors and then hopefully, I'll get to look at your articles over time.
edit on 10-7-2013 by greatfriendbadfoe because: las sentence added



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:09 AM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
My memory is vague, but didn't we already allocate umpty bazillion dollars to "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects? And, weren't many of those connected to fraud and waste? And I further believe that a large proportion has not yet been spent, because the jobs weren't "shovel-ready."

I could be mistaken on some of those things, but I'm not excited by the track record so far.

And as for getting the money from the huge pot of dollars in the Defense Department? I'm not so sure.

This is a really great web site, I've used it more than once. You can get a general summary, or pretty small details. www.usfederalbudget.us...

The budget for Fiscal Year 2013 shows Health and Human services at $941 Billion, Social Security at $883 Billion, and Department of Defense at $673 Billion, out of a total of $3800 Billion (rounded).

But out of Defense's money, you can't take the $142 Billion for salaries. (You have to pay the returning soldiers, and the unions will probably demand that they get paid union wages, so wages might be doubled) That leaves $531 Billion. Health and retirement benefits have to be paid, that's another $41 Billion, Now we're down to $490 Billion.

But the 2009 America Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $862 Billion. What would a measly $490 Billion accomplish? And we only get the $490 Billion figure if we totally eliminate the military. No active duty troops, nor reserve or guard, no fuel for planes and vehicles, just shut it all down.

I like your goal, but we need a different way to get there.


That is exactly the website I have been using.

The issue I bring up is where is that money actually going? I suspect that it is going to many places that are unclaimed, which increases personal profit. Remember, this series is pointed at everyone, including those who are profiting the most from the way we do things.

But, as I continue to parrot, is that actually the best way to do things?

It is easy to tear apart a system, but building one is another story. What are your ideas if you feel this one has failed from the start? I would be more interested in coming up with an actual working system than just debating what wont work.

I know I can speak bluntly with you Charles, so please dont take offense to my terseness.
What are your actual ideas on what will work rather than what wont work?

I know you have some.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:14 AM
link   

Originally posted by greatfriendbadfoe
reply to post by Serdgiam
 


sorry serdgiam. No matter how much I try to read your articles, all I can think of is one person monopolising 6 out of the 8 new topics on ats and my head can't get past it. so even if they are really really pertinent and super great articles, I guess I will miss out on any profound info. Oh well, my loss I guess. Good luck with your posts. I'll come back in a while when there are a variety of authors and then hopefully, I'll get to look at your articles over time.


Actually, I am technically monopolizing all of my threads and there are 7. So, 7 out of 7.


If that bothers you, I am sure the way things are run in the US, among many other nations, bothers you as well, correct?

Its no issue that you do not read due to jadedness, I do not expect much of a response until we start releasing the tools to be able to do all of this. Think of it as tilling the soil.

There will never be a variety of authors of my own threads, though ideally, there will be a variety of contributors. Like I said though, that likely will not occur for another few months.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 11:41 AM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

First, let me apologize for not giving your thread a flag and stars. That has been corrected.

Second, I don't care who starts a thread. If it's a worthwhile idea, as this is, the poster is irrelevant. (Although I do enjoy your threads, even if sometimes I have to work at them, but that's a good thing.)

Third, terseness is no problem. I know your heart is right, and I'd be astonished if you ever said anything insulting to me. Agreement? That's not necessary. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and reason.

Ok, time to get to work.

Philosophically, I distrust most things done at a federal level. Experience gives me no reason to believe otherwise. Had the government said to State X, "We were planning on taking a bazillion dollars from you to build roads throughout the country. How about if we don't take it from you?" Now the state has a bazillion dollars (wealthier states would have two bazillion dollars), and they spend it on roads, or whatever the people think is most important. If infrastructure gets bad in state X, the people start complaining, and the state starts rebuilding.

A lot of the infrastructure is within one county, so I don't see why the state couldn't send a quarter of a bazillion to the counties for their use.

As you've pointed out, a good infrastructure is a financial plus. A state or a county has more incentive to boost their infrastructure than the feds do.

Another approach is to expand the use of toll roads. They're used in the Eastern US without problems that I know about. The state gives say, a 20 year contract to a company, allows them to make no more than 10% profit, then inspects the roads to make sure they're up to standards.

Just had another thought. I've heard from a sports station that the University of Minnesota started selling beer for the first time at their football games. They charged over $7 a glass. But the key point is they lost money! How anyone can do that is beyond me, but apparently they put in landscaping around the beer stands, and did a bunch of other costly things, so they ended up in the red. Had that contract gone to a private company, that company could have charged less and still made a profit.

Perhaps something similar could be done with mass transportation, after allowing for the very poor to have access.

People tend to be concerned with, and take care of, the things that they own. Nobody is concerned with the things the federal government owns. At the level of finance people only say, "Give me more and give me better, but charge me less." That doesn't work, at least not for very long.

Not a complete solution, I know, but that's where my thoughts lead me now. I'm always happy for your thoughts, and eagerly await them.

With respect,
Charles1952
edit on 10-7-2013 by charles1952 because: bracket error



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 12:06 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
Philosophically, I distrust most things done at a federal level. Experience gives me no reason to believe otherwise.


We are on the same page with that. I really dont believe that the government is spending the money it says it is spending. But, I am appealing to those people as well in this. By engorging their own bank account, I feel it is short sighted and a less profitable investment than putting the money to good use. So, ideally, we can come to a meeting of the minds between both need and greed (the overall theme to all of this). In retrospect, I think I should have numbered the threads, since they go in a specific order. Live and learn, eh?


A lot of the infrastructure is within one county, so I don't see why the state couldn't send a quarter of a bazillion to the counties for their use.


Thats true, and is something that I did not really communicate. I basically lumped federal and state government together, but I think making a distinction is important. Interestingly, this should have been made even clearer after having a nearly one hour conversation with the state senator in a rain storm. Kind of cool experience.


Another approach is to expand the use of toll roads. They're used in the Eastern US without problems that I know about. The state gives say, a 20 year contract to a company, allows them to make no more than 10% profit, then inspects the roads to make sure they're up to standards.


I am not against this, however, I have the reservation that the same personal profit techniques will be used regardless of monies raised. There are SO MANY loopholes, etc, that I think the only way to really get that money going where it needs to go is convince those who are essentially stealing from the people that their own greed is actually going to negatively impact them in the long run.

What changes do you think could be made that reduces the inherent corruption in the system? As I have tried to make clear, my idea is to show that putting greed over need ends up being an ineffective way to satisfy greed or need!


Just had another thought. I've heard from a sports station that the University of Minnesota started selling beer for the first time at their football games. They charged over $7 a glass. But the key point is they lost money! How anyone can do that is beyond me, but apparently they put in landscaping around the beer stands, and did a bunch of other costly things, so they ended up in the red. Had that contract gone to a private company, that company could have charged less and still made a profit.


See, this is where red flags start to pop up for me.. Are those people really that inept? Or, did they come up with some way to be able to personally profit from the situation that even with charging that much for the product, they are still losing money on paper? Meaning, did they actually invest that money into the project, or did it go directly into someone(s) bank account?


People tend to be concerned with, and take care of, the things that they own. Nobody is concerned with the things the federal government owns. At the level of finance people only say, "Give me more and give me better, but charge me less." That doesn't work, at least not for very long.


Such an interesting point to bring up! I actually think this is natural, and that with technology we can even build a system that negates the weakness of only "caring for our own." Through communication technology, everything we do can be for the benefit of those we care about, but then we can share that knowledge with the world (free information culture thread).

That said, I think that the main point I am trying to get across is that I think that many of the issues we see in government spending is sourced in private individuals using public funds to grow their own bank accounts. And, the counter-point is that while this works short term, as you say, it is actually less profitable and beneficial for those very people in the long run.

What I am proposing is basically using funds and resources that are already available, but in a different way to better increase everything from quality of life to productivity. Its all about working towards the end goal of infrastructure reform (which is so very needed) not only without changing existing funds and resources, but in a way that can appeal to even the greediest and most corrupt individuals. In doing so, we might just find that satisfying that greed happens more effectively if approached from a different way. running out of space here


The biggest unknown is; Is all of this just short-sightedness or a designed collapse?



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:32 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

You're right, I missed the core question of "Need vs. Greed." Or more palatably from my point of view "How do we fix greed?" (I have a subconcious fear of the word "need" when used in a policy setting. I think my fear comes from ". . . to each according to his need.")

I have two solutions for you. (When I started, I didn't think I had any.) I'll grant they're drastic and revolutionary, but you're not talking about an easy problem.

One is religion. We have done a remarkable job in this country in getting rid of as much religious speech and belief as we possibly can. Was that wise? Babies and Bathwater come to mind. Only our secular, humanist, "religion" tells us its good to get as much for ourselves as we possibly can, regardless of the cost. Christianity, Judaism, any religion I can think of, teaches that it's good to share with the poor and needy, and to take care of widows, orphans and the visiting stranger. A government push for "A Thousand Points of Light" or "Americorps," or whatever other program, just doesn't have the same motivational force as religion.

Second solution? Much less radical in today's society, but I think we're more likely to foul it up. "A good government is one which makes it easy for it's citizens to be good." We really know how to encourage people not to do things like smoke or drink, that's why they're called "Sin Taxes." Why not institute "Virtue Un-Taxes?" At the monetary level, let the feds take whatever they absolutely have to take to meet their constitutional duties. After that, let citizens allocate their money to various programs, with built in limits. (I don't want to see $20 quadzillion going to the "Save the Cute, Furry, Teddy Bear fund.") Or, increase tax deductions for donations to any program which might fall under our current government areas of interest.

Or even a third approach, or rather, a sub-heading under the second solution. Provide non-monetary incentives. Why do we give Ambassadorships to big campaign fund raisers instead of to people that have done some serious good? How about a dinner at the White House? A medal for people who are truly outstanding? Maybe titles, like the British "Sir" that could be used by great "helpers?"

Just a quick thought. I hope it sparks some thoughts in you.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 01:47 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
You're right, I missed the core question of "Need vs. Greed." Or more palatably from my point of view "How do we fix greed?" (I have a subconcious fear of the word "need" when used in a policy setting. I think my fear comes from ". . . to each according to his need.").


I tried to do my best to make sure it was clear that all of the threads I posted yesterday are all from the same "book." In changing the format though, I feel it has lost a lot of information, as well as led to a lot of confusion. I really dont know how to fix it now, as I cant edit the posts anymore. But yes, I should have numbered them because the first couple threads were almost imperative for understanding the context of the subsequent ones.

Any ideas?

And yes, I agree about the word "need." Its such a tricky thing to tip toe around because of the very quote that you mention. Essentially, the idea is to meet everyones basic needs, which will then better satisfy greed. Currently though, we do not necessarily have the technology or will to do this. But, the technology part is coming. The "will" is up to each and every one of us though.


One is religion. We have done a remarkable job in this country in getting rid of as much religious speech and belief as we possibly can. Was that wise? Babies and Bathwater come to mind. Only our secular, humanist, "religion" tells us its good to get as much for ourselves as we possibly can, regardless of the cost. Christianity, Judaism, any religion I can think of, teaches that it's good to share with the poor and needy, and to take care of widows, orphans and the visiting stranger. A government push for "A Thousand Points of Light" or "Americorps," or whatever other program, just doesn't have the same motivational force as religion.


I think that religion is indicative of a deeper issues. Where, instead of working together towards our common goals, it is more perceived as "my way or the highway."

I think that religion does have great teachings within it, but it is pre-loaded with judgment and persecution as well. I think the main shift, for this sort of thing to be successful, is the acceptance that good ideas can come from any walk of life. But currently, if my "team" doesnt come up with it, it is discarded until it can be made proprietary.

I will think more on this though.



Second solution? Much less radical in today's society, but I think we're more likely to foul it up. "A good government is one which makes it easy for it's citizens to be good." We really know how to encourage people not to do things like smoke or drink, that's why they're called "Sin Taxes." Why not institute "Virtue Un-Taxes?" At the monetary level, let the feds take whatever they absolutely have to take to meet their constitutional duties. After that, let citizens allocate their money to various programs, with built in limits. (I don't want to see $20 quadzillion going to the "Save the Cute, Furry, Teddy Bear fund.") Or, increase tax deductions for donations to any program which might fall under our current government areas of interest.


I like this solution, but as you say, we really are likely to foul it up in the current paradigm. Teams of lawyers will be used to find any loophole possible to profit. I am not sure how to address this without explaining how putting the greed before the need ends up inhibiting ALL of our progress. That core concept seems to be very difficult to explain. How are you perceiving it?


Or even a third approach, or rather, a sub-heading under the second solution. Provide non-monetary incentives. Why do we give Ambassadorships to big campaign fund raisers instead of to people that have done some serious good? How about a dinner at the White House? A medal for people who are truly outstanding? Maybe titles, like the British "Sir" that could be used by great "helpers?"


I like this, and it is actually a strong motivating factor in what I am saying. The "non-monetary" incentive in my project here is that the amount of advancement that would take place is unprecedented. Instead of individual bank accounts, it focuses on increasing the quality of life for everyone (including the greedy).

I think what you suggest here already takes place in a lot of forms, but it is mainly political. People are recognized for virtuous deeds, but perhaps this exacerbates the issue as that virtuosity should be a standard of living that results in every person benefiting. The issue is that most view this as "idealism" or even a "utopia," when it is nothing of the sort. How do you think we can work around this?


Just a quick thought. I hope it sparks some thoughts in you.


Every word that is working in cooperation doesnt just spark thought, but hope. I am deeply thankful Charles.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:05 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

I'm sorry that I missed your other threads. You've brought the "greed" question clearly to the fore, however, and I might be able to continue without reading them all first. Or, would you suggest I do get to those first?

Why is this thread getting so little notice? I'ts a great thread with serious discussion of a sweeping human condition. There's no name calling, understanding is growing (at least in me), in all respects nearly an ideal thread? What's the problem? Does one of us need a breath mint?

I have one other problem. I have a little schedule conflict and I have to sign off for a few hours. I should be back in about three. By then I hope others will have found this gem.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:15 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

OK, I know I'll be a little late, but I just had a thought I really wanted to offer you and didn't want to take the chance I'd forget it.

We also have to look at humans' propensity for thinking short-term instead of long-term. When people pile up goods it's for themselves, and maybe for their children. They don't think beyond that. Look at politicians. They don't think beyond the next election or two. The problem which you point out may not be helped by short term thinking. Looks like we've got another human characteristic to deal with.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:21 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

I'm sorry that I missed your other threads. You've brought the "greed" question clearly to the fore, however, and I might be able to continue without reading them all first. Or, would you suggest I do get to those first?


I really think reading the other threads would be good. It was all written initially as a book, then I was going to make one mega-thread, and now it is spread around different forums. The idea was to get more people to read it, but as of yet, it has been a bit of a failure. The first thread is here, the second is here, and the third is here. The rest, although part of the same project, are more individual applications of the ideas and concepts.


Why is this thread getting so little notice? I'ts a great thread with serious discussion of a sweeping human condition. There's no name calling, understanding is growing (at least in me), in all respects nearly an ideal thread? What's the problem?


If responses are any indication, it seems some were highly annoyed by putting the same line in each thread. Beyond that, at least in my personal interactions, people I speak with dont actually want any change. They say they see issues in the world, but claim that there is nothing any of us can do. They have given up, but I am not ready to do that. It may not apply to the people of ATS, but ATS is just one of the methods I am using.


Does one of us need a breath mint?


Hrmmm... that may be me... I did forget to brush my teeth this morning.
Its the little things in life that trip up even the most grandiose of goals.


Take all of the time you need. I am very thankful for your participation in what could be a pivotal point in the course of soon-to-be history.



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 02:28 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

We also have to look at humans' propensity for thinking short-term instead of long-term. When people pile up goods it's for themselves, and maybe for their children. They don't think beyond that. Look at politicians. They don't think beyond the next election or two. The problem which you point out may not be helped by short term thinking. Looks like we've got another human characteristic to deal with.


Brilliant.


That is exactly one of my points. Have we ever sat down as a people, as humans, and asked "where are we going and how do we get there?"

By laying a foundation to grow on, I think we can do exactly that! Of course, it requires participation, which is proving to be very difficult..

What can we do to create a society that looks at long-term success as well as short-term? Some of the things I propose will likely not see benefit immediately. But, over generations, the improvements will be immense.

As far as greed, I think what you say is what is happening. Where, the instant gratification of greed is the sole goal, regardless of if that will mean the greed is much less satisfied in the long run.

I think one way of achieving a shift in this paradigm is focusing on how best to enable scientific advancement and progress alongside coming up with ways that improve quality of life for every person on this planet. What are your thoughts on this?



posted on Jul, 10 2013 @ 07:03 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

Forgive me for making a personal observation, and of course you needn't comment on it, but you strike me as a European, academic, or both. Oh well, doesn't matter, just babbling.

I've looked at your three basic threads, plus education and pharmecuticals. Any one of these threads could be a seminar topic, they are rich and important. I don't know what brought you to ATS, but I'm glad to have (virtually) met you.

Break time's over, Charles. Back to work.

A word which seems to be essential for you is "system." There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a little difficult for less abstract thinkers to grasp.


Many want a change, but are not willing to propose actual systems to replace things. I think that a lot of us have realized there are some very real issues in the world, but as the opening questions suggests; what is to be done about it?

What solution will actually build up a new system instead of perpetuating the same one that has existed for thousands of years?
In the first case it seems that several systems are required to make a "world system." (You are looking for a world system if I understand you. Or would it be sufficient for one nation to implement it and the rest of the world would copy its success?) On the other hand it seems as though you might be talking about one unified system with which to "grasp this sorry scheme of things entire."

I assume that the final goal would be a set of beliefs and attitudes firmly set as the Cultural Story, thus being embedded in everyone's minds and character with only a little societal adjustment now and then. A "World System." But what is put in place in the meantime? I don't expect, but I could be surprised, to create an entire world system lasting for millenia, here on ATS. But do we need to come up with a rough guess as to what the bridge between now and a world system would look like? Maybe not, and if not, we can move on.

But if we do need a bridge, a stepping stone, then it seems that we should polish up the incentives discussed earlier.

Oh! One thing came to mind, that was your comment on the divisiveness of religions. I agree with you there, but I was thinking more along the lines of "Religion," not "religions." Politicians sometimes try to quote a verse or two out of some Scripture to prove that God wants you to vote for a wastewater treatment plant, or something. I was suggesting that the country take the principles common to religions (and there are more than you might think) and talk about, or "sell," those principles without tying them to some campaign.

There is one other thing that I'm unclear about.

I do not feel there is a single solution with this. Instead, I feel that a new system should be based on a true collaboration of all the truly brilliant minds that exist in mankind. We have communication technology to assist in this, and an objectively-focused method to determine success in the scientific method.
It sounds a little like the resource based economy plan. But where I'm uncertain is how to bring in the truly "stupid" minds into this collaboration. I'm just a guy (My mini-profile says so, so it must be true.) I'm sure there are some adults who would be "Happy as Pigs in Slop" (an apt expression here) if they were guaranteed their sports, sex, food, beer, car, and spending money. The truly brilliant minds might not be able to cope well with this concept of Utopia.

Further, if we're going to change society's attitudes and beliefs, do you think those of us who are sub-par should have a say?

And finally, how do we determine by the scientific method, the best quality of life for everyone? And I suppose it would have to be the best quality of life for everyone living now, and who will ever live. This is going to be tricky.

Anyway, I'm running a bit lengthy. I hope this is enough to start some progress. As you say, "Foundation First."

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 02:03 PM
link   
I am an American from the United States. Born and raised.
I am also a scientist, but one with severe health problems. Coincidentally (or not), the doctors have decided to cease large portions of my treatment today. I apologize if my anger shows through towards you, I do not mean it and have all the respect in the world for you. I am *completely* livid though, and it appears I might not have as much time as I thought.



Originally posted by charles1952
A word which seems to be essential for you is "system." There's nothing wrong with that, but it's a little difficult for less abstract thinkers to grasp.


I am so glad you brought this up, because it honestly never crossed my mind. I am using it to refer to something very vague, which is just "a collection of individual, but not separate, entities." So, a "system" could refer to everything from the human body to the ocean currents to the galaxy to the universe. How do you think I could improve my communication on this? Maybe refer to the specific system in question?


In the first case it seems that several systems are required to make a "world system." (You are looking for a world system if I understand you. Or would it be sufficient for one nation to implement it and the rest of the world would copy its success?) On the other hand it seems as though you might be talking about one unified system with which to "grasp this sorry scheme of things entire."


I am starting this with myself and those around me. Where it spreads from there is up to each individual living. Whether it goes global or not is not my intent, necessarily, but if everyone on the planet worked as a team I DO think it would be stronger for it.

That said, my intent is not even for it to start nation-wide, but in small communities and it will grow from there. Since I live in the US, that is naturally where I have begun.


I assume that the final goal would be a set of beliefs and attitudes firmly set as the Cultural Story, thus being embedded in everyone's minds and character with only a little societal adjustment now and then. A "World System." But what is put in place in the meantime? I don't expect, but I could be surprised, to create an entire world system lasting for millenia, here on ATS. But do we need to come up with a rough guess as to what the bridge between now and a world system would look like? Maybe not, and if not, we can move on.


You got it
And I think that bridge is simply people starting to do it in their own lives, such as myself. I think the most important aspect is a cultural story that is not only recognized, but also adaptable.


I was suggesting that the country take the principles common to religions (and there are more than you might think) and talk about, or "sell," those principles without tying them to some campaign.


I studied comparative religion extensively for quite a few years.
Its amazing how something so similar could be used to so effectively divide. I think this change will be more of a result of other changes, rather than being approached directly.


I'm just a guy (My mini-profile says so, so it must be true.) I'm sure there are some adults who would be "Happy as Pigs in Slop" (an apt expression here) if they were guaranteed their sports, sex, food, beer, car, and spending money. The truly brilliant minds might not be able to cope well with this concept of Utopia.

Further, if we're going to change society's attitudes and beliefs, do you think those of us who are sub-par should have a say?


You are contributing quite well here.
I do not feel anyone is necessarily subpar, but I do believe everyone can contribute their creations to the betterment of the entire world. Whether that is art, science, humor, or simply another perspective. I determine value in the disparities between perspectives, rather than how they compare relative to one another. In that, every single person alive is of equal value in that they have their own perspective.


And finally, how do we determine by the scientific method, the best quality of life for everyone? This is going to be tricky.


It will be, but essentially, we can have determining factors that we try to achieve through different hypotheses. Science itself can hold itself back, but the scientific method is always always always about learning and growing. If we can apply this attitude culturally, I think that we have something that will limit the problems that arise from purely subjective individual goals.


I hope this is enough to start some progress. As you say, "Foundation First."


I hope so too, with luck, I will be able to see all of this through alongside others. If not, I can only hope to successfully lay a foundation.
edit on 11-7-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 07:22 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

I have enormous respect for you. Your project, just the book alone, should be an event that changes the mental processes of everyone who reads it. Not only are you asking people to look deep within themselves, at their fundamental motivations, but you're asking them to extend that vision for millenia, and probably into space.

It is an honor to know you, and I hope you're with us for at least a score of years to follow the progress of your efforts.

OK, let me see if I can add a few twigs to your bonfire. Remember that I am a non-scientist and therefore see words differently. Please take my suggestions lightly and use whatever you like. They're your thoughts that need to be expressed.

For me, a system indicates energy, movement, change, production. Thus, I see photosynthesis as a system which takes in, processes, and puts out. Weather takes in energy, moves about, releases energy, etc. In your presentation, as I understand it, I would have no difficulty in describing education as a "system."

I might call the set of beliefs which you would like inculcated and ingrained in individuals, a "framework" or "structure." Appropriate adjectives might include "social," "civic," "moral," or "community." That last adjective, "community," reminds be that there is where you wanted to start. May I suggest as a model to build on, the New England Town Meeting?

It accomplishes many of the things which I think will be necessary. It's small enough so that everyone with an opinion can be heard. With proper delegation of governing power, the Town will have enough significant decisions to make so that people will be affected by its decisions, therefore creating a desire to participate. And it strengthens the idea of "Community." No one has ever cared about the 8th precinct in the 2nd Congressional District, but they do care about Springfield Corners, Wyoming.

One stray thought about education. Please make sure to allow room for telling children what they should know. Besides basic facts and skills, there should be education in civic virtues and history, (I can imagine opposing groups fighting over that one.) economics, the aesthetic arts, and philosophy and logic.

I don't know why this is so short, there is so much to talk about.

With respect,
Charles1952

P.s. I have a few vague wisps of thoughts on measuring "good" as in the greatest good for the greatest number. If you want to go scientific, we'll have to get numbers in there someplace. - C -



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 08:29 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

I have enormous respect for you. Your project, just the book alone, should be an event that changes the mental processes of everyone who reads it. Not only are you asking people to look deep within themselves, at their fundamental motivations, but you're asking them to extend that vision for millenia, and probably into space.

It is an honor to know you, and I hope you're with us for at least a score of years to follow the progress of your efforts.


That brought a tear to my eye.
Moving on..


For me, a system indicates energy, movement, change, production. Thus, I see photosynthesis as a system which takes in, processes, and puts out. Weather takes in energy, moves about, releases energy, etc. In your presentation, as I understand it, I would have no difficulty in describing education as a "system."


You got it! Its ALL systems
But I think by using that term so much, it makes sense in my head on what I am talking about, but how are others to know what I am thinking? I am going to work harder on this, and my communication skills.


May I suggest as a model to build on, the New England Town Meeting?

It accomplishes many of the things which I think will be necessary. It's small enough so that everyone with an opinion can be heard. With proper delegation of governing power, the Town will have enough significant decisions to make so that people will be affected by its decisions, therefore creating a desire to participate. And it strengthens the idea of "Community." No one has ever cared about the 8th precinct in the 2nd Congressional District, but they do care about Springfield Corners, Wyoming.


I am going to need to study this for a bit, but I will get back to you. It is new to me, and I thank you for the education. Cant say much on it right now though!


One stray thought about education. Please make sure to allow room for telling children what they should know. Besides basic facts and skills, there should be education in civic virtues and history, (I can imagine opposing groups fighting over that one.) economics, the aesthetic arts, and philosophy and logic.


If you read through my education reform thread, you will see me hinting at this actually. I think "life skills" are critical, but they seem to be a dying class. Things like woodworking, cooking, and so much more is just left out as many feel its "not important." I just cant disagree more, I think its very important.

In the first years of school, it would all be about exploring the world using a method. Just cater to the exploratory nature that so many of us had as a child, and use it for our future children to learn. But then, it starts to shift a bit more into "traditional" school, with a much stronger focus on life skills than we have now. I think if we were to teach things like trigonometry alongside real world applications (like woodworking), then it makes it more usable and doesnt pigeonhole the math into almost a philosophical field.

I think the amazing part about science is that while it may use numbers and math, they are not needed for the scientific method itself. Make no mistake, they are important to it (especially the application/invention phase), but they are not needed in principle. What this means is that we can teach an objective form of exploration to our children without introducing advanced concepts which may just leave many confused.

Basically, we would encourage a hypothesis, then observation, then notes, then have them use it to build something with k'nex, or lego sets, or even just carving pieces of wood to build a pulley or learning about basic air flow and flight dynamics by folding a piece of paper to make an airplane. But, we would leave it up to the kids creativity on exactly how the apply what they find in their explorations.


P.s. I have a few vague wisps of thoughts on measuring "good" as in the greatest good for the greatest number. If you want to go scientific, we'll have to get numbers in there someplace. - C -


I think numbers would bring precision, but our exact goals and how we reach them will change quite a bit starting out. I think that just working towards some base goals (hypotheses) through "educated" trial and error (experiments like how I am going to be making all of my work open source), and then refining it. I am going to need to think on this more, as I do not have any specific goals, more just vague achievable concepts. What kind of specific goals would you like to see all of us work towards?

I am thinking along the lines of first addressing our energy infrastructure and updating the CORE system, and also perhaps designing a process that can allow us to better maintain our roads and pipelines. It still feels so vague though..
edit on 11-7-2013 by Serdgiam because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 09:27 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

You're right, if we're going to call everything "system," we may have to specify a bit.
One of the difficulties of the Soviet system was accounting for the interrelationships between systems, their planning committes always fouled things up. Corruption accounted for some of it, but the complexity of the task was the larger factor.

Can computers solve that problem? Maybe but it still requires someone to create the model of the overall system and its goals, a Grand Unified Theorem, if you will. Is it possible? I don't see it in the near future, we can't even model weather despite the billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours spent on the project. Even then, will some group put in a "back door" that will allow them to make minute adjustments to their benefit?

As with the Soviets versus the United States, it appears that individual freedom is more likely to produce at least economic wealth, if not social good. I think that even as far as social goods are considered, many people would prefer to live here or in Western Europe than in their home country. I suspect this individual freedom idea will have to remain part of the plan.

Consider the human body, which can be considered one system, it also has a respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, etc. They overlap, as in oxygen transfer when it moves from the respiratory system to the circulatory system. I think that's what you're looking at here with your Grand Unified System.

It may be awkward, but perhaps you could consider "systems" with the following adjectives:

Financial..........Construction..........Manufacturing.......... Agri- and Aqua-culture..........Energy
Decision Making..........Protection (Police and Military)..........Health..........Relief (Disaster and social)
Information..........Transportation..........Education

I don't know which others you might be considering, or if all of these are necessary, It's just a rough, first cut. While I do like your idea of an overarching system (sort of like Gaia?) I don't know if we're prepared as a people to understand it, or even create it. Maybe we have to piece it together like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, then give it shock to start it when it's all in place.

You're quite correct about the place of numbers in the scientific method. Two objects dropped from a tower, a piece of ore left in a coat pocket with some undeveloped x-ray plates, two different types of pea plants in a garden. The ability to observe, understand, and imagine are vital, numbers, not so much. (Although I don't know how we spread curiosity. I'll just assume kids have it naturally.)

What goals to work for is a fairly easy question in the initial stages. As reluctant as I am to re-re-introduce religion, Pope Francis has been pushing for humility and humble circumstances for his Church, for food and dignity for everyone. He has been leading by example. Can we keep the message without pushing that individual religion?

Besides food, water, freedom, and dignity, we add modest housing, medical care, basically uncorrupted government, some education for all, and advanced education for some. I think you know the basics.

What I don't have in mind is the structure which can provide it. I suspect that will be one of the final steps, but I'd love to be contradicted. If a government is currently absorbing the resources, it becomes more difficult for individuals to provide from their own pockets. Difficult, but not impossible. And now we're back to the "Why should I?" The motivation. I've seen successful fund raisers in small towns for someone who has had a significant setback, serious illness, death in the family, etc. These work because of the connection to the community, the values of the individuals, the seriousness of the problem, the social rewards, and the relatively small amount requested.

Even New York lost some of its selfishness after 9/11. I think we could model a function using relatively few variables to indicate the level of generosity, then we play with variables. (I feel like a mad scientist. "Soon, we'll have them doing what we command. HAHAHAHA!)

I don't know enough about our energy infrastructure do comment even reasonably. I do know that France uses a lot of nuclear to produce electricity, and that we spend a lot of money on solar and renewables which hasn't paid off yet. (Except for hydro.)

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 09:58 PM
link   

Originally posted by charles1952
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

a Grand Unified Theorem, if you will. Is it possible?





Consider the human body, which can be considered one system, it also has a respiratory system, digestive system, circulatory system, etc. They overlap, as in oxygen transfer when it moves from the respiratory system to the circulatory system. I think that's what you're looking at here with your Grand Unified System.


Seriously man, this is getting strange. You are starting to illustrate exactly what some of the technologies I plan on releasing are based on. I am approaching housing with the same concept as the human body, where the Arduino board is the central nervous system, and it has a respiratory system, digestive system, and circulatory system. How cool is that?


It may be awkward, but perhaps you could consider "systems" with the following adjectives:

Financial..........Construction..........Manufacturing.......... Agri- and Aqua-culture..........Energy
Decision Making..........Protection (Police and Military)..........Health..........Relief (Disaster and social)
Information..........Transportation..........Education


I am going to put thought into this, and actively try to incorporate it into how I talk. We will see how it goes!


I don't know which others you might be considering, or if all of these are necessary, It's just a rough, first cut. While I do like your idea of an overarching system (sort of like Gaia?) I don't know if we're prepared as a people to understand it, or even create it. Maybe we have to piece it together like Dr. Frankenstein's monster, then give it shock to start it when it's all in place.


It is in determining the direction a fractal takes when it hits a medium of a different density. Using this principle, since it is universal, it can be used in everything from optimization to societal constructs. This is all for a bit later though. I think you might find it really cool.


What goals to work for is a fairly easy question in the initial stages. As reluctant as I am to re-re-introduce religion, Pope Francis has been pushing for humility and humble circumstances for his Church, for food and dignity for everyone. He has been leading by example. Can we keep the message without pushing that individual religion?


I think so.. however, I think we need to take into account that even that concept may turn into an ideaology all of its own. I think to prevent this, and stagnation, working some sort of dynamic ability into it would be useful. That said, I also think that many of the teachings of religion are timeless, and even adherents of specific religions seem to avoid them (such as "Love one another").


What I don't have in mind is the structure which can provide it. I suspect that will be one of the final steps, but I'd love to be contradicted. If a government is currently absorbing the resources, it becomes more difficult for individuals to provide from their own pockets. Difficult, but not impossible. And now we're back to the "Why should I?" The motivation. I've seen successful fund raisers in small towns for someone who has had a significant setback, serious illness, death in the family, etc. These work because of the connection to the community, the values of the individuals, the seriousness of the problem, the social rewards, and the relatively small amount requested.


I think a worldwide cohesive implementation may need to just happen naturally. Meaning, that we can start it in our own communities, but how it takes form over such vast numbers may be different than any of us can envision. I think the motivation will start to come with new technologies though. Where, an example is set using life-changing inventions that almost make people stand up and take notice of not only the idea, but how it is shared.


I don't know enough about our energy infrastructure do comment even reasonably. I do know that France uses a lot of nuclear to produce electricity, and that we spend a lot of money on solar and renewables which hasn't paid off yet. (Except for hydro.)


I think the specific sources of energy may not be as relevant as coming up with a system that can address them universally, for eons to come. More of a focus on how to maintain all of the infrastructure from power lines, to power stations, etc. I think our current issue is that many of these structures are completely outdated, but we have put new technology on them as a band aid. With water specifically, in some of the older parts of the US, the pipelines are in serious trouble. What would happen if we built them with their inevitable demise in mind? Where we build with the idea of easy and efficient maintainence?


With respect


As always my friend



posted on Jul, 11 2013 @ 10:49 PM
link   
reply to post by Serdgiam
 

Dear Serdgiam,

I've never been a mid-wife, but I feel as though I'm helping a little in bringing a new life into the world. Thanks for taking me along.

But I've just been struck by the thought that perhaps I'm not as "with" you as I thought. You've told me over and over that you want to start small, in a community, but I've left that behind in an attempt to see the "Big Picture" when that might not be necessary or even wanted.

Tell me, should I be changing my focus to see this as a prototype or demonstration project? Have I been wrongly stressing the world when what you want is a small town where it can be shown that your ideas work?



I think the specific sources of energy may not be as relevant as coming up with a system that can address them universally, for eons to come. More of a focus on how to maintain all of the infrastructure from power lines, to power stations, etc. I think our current issue is that many of these structures are completely outdated, but we have put new technology on them as a band aid. With water specifically, in some of the older parts of the US, the pipelines are in serious trouble. What would happen if we built them with their inevitable demise in mind? Where we build with the idea of easy and efficient maintainence?
^&%%# I'm starting to tear my hair out. Have you got a staff of 20 brilliant grad, or even post-doc assistants working with you on this project?

Every time you produce a thought, I see five different directions to go. Energy. Produced locally, or centrally with transmission. If transmission, physical or beam? (Microwaves guided and kept from dispersing by laser guides? I love science-fiction, but who knows?) If by physical intermediary, above or below ground?

Do I even have the right general concepts to help you with this project. (Actually, I'll be happy if I'm just a sympathetic sounding board.) Forget for a minute about our goals, what problems do we have to solve to even address the goals? That's vague, and I'm sorry, but I want this to work and some of my frustration is leaking out.

Possible problems:
What is the summum bonum, the greatest good, for the various peoples of the world?

What attitudes and beliefs do we want the people of the world to have ingrained in them?

What method do use to instill those beliefs, and reinforce them through life?

What social and governmental structures do we need to establish to provide protection, freedom, and resources, for the people involved?

Do we consider a pilot project first, with limited goals, and resources available? Or, do we plan for the world then introduce communities to the GUS?

Now, if we're looking at a smaller scale project, I can understand devising a better school system and persuading a state to try in a district. Or, a local energy network which is more efficient and accessible?

I'm sorry to be wasting your time, but I only have the vision, not the plan for getting there. I suspect that one possible solution (Which you've probably already done.) is to create a broad description of the Universal GUS, tack it up on the board, then work on each system individually to make it fall in line with the GUS. Then scale the project down to what is feasible at the local level. This will show real-world problems and help identify the interconnections.

Finally, scale back up to include the world, and go to Stockholm to become the first person to win multiple Nobels.

I think I need to be brought back in line with your thinking a little more clearly, in order to be of help to you. (That was awfully presumptious of me. No reason to think I can help. But this is exciting.) If you happen to be married, tell your spouse that the world is beginning to see your genius. (OK, just me so far on ATS, but fame takes time.)

With respect,
Charles1952



new topics

top topics



 
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join