1630. Paris and the UN Climate conference. Income key problem.

The critical issue for acceptance of strong anti-global warming strategies  and rethinking energy is people. Their fear is of losing income. Any plan which does not provide a believable and actionable plan for how people survive the transition – food, water, provide for family,- shelter – will not move the needle.

 

This will require rethinking asset valuations and ownership. A tremendous task, certainly equivalent to the shift from hunter gathers to agriculture, or agriculture to industrialization.  The plus side is we are all more or less aware of the news. The down side is, we are very crowded.

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1619. Debate

All seemed smarter than the republicans except maybe Trump (don’t discount him).

But Hillary stayed close to the standard democratic social agenda, which seems much more her default position. Sanders is much closer to the key issues and the texture of real lives. The others all seemed like decent good people, aware of social issues. The Republicans are failing across the board.

I had the feeling that all of them last night would be overwhelmed by the actual course of events approaching: climate, inequality, technical innovations in the transhuman categories, war, migrations.

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1618. Sober thoughts

Trying for elegant simplicity.

We need a politics that can support an economics that is focused on the wealth of the whole society, not just the one percent or the owners of power.

We do not have such a politics and we do not have such an economics.

It is hard to imagine how we can get the politics first, since it has no task except to keep the momentum of the current system going. We need the new economic thinking that we can then ask the politics to support.

New economic thinking is crucial.

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1617. Refugees’ death march

I don’t like this, but then I have been silent trying to take in all that I don’t like, and looking for a way forward that makes more sense.  Yet

EU Death March: As The Refugee Crisis Turns and Turns and Turns

We can hope for great compassion and social experimentation. But people are hungry and tired. The solution to the refugee crisis would require rethinking the social organization, now of Europe, but soon the world. Old arrangements will try to prevent that.

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1616. The throw away society.

If you thonk about the things you own you will discover thst they are not as important to you as they used to be. The idea ob obsolesence and the coming of the newer and better has subtly underminec our attachments to our most loved things.

The deep problem is, this also extends to people  including those cloest and dearest to us.

We just do not care as much. Who any longer has a favorite sweater, or book, or chair?

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1615. Divisions in society: cross border dynamics

society can be seen as divided into

  • those who are rich
  • those who work
  • those in jail

There is some overlap, some rich are workers and in jail, etc.

  • The rich pay fines
  • the poor go to jail

The economy is not large enough to contain all the poor to those who cannot find work (education, transportation, ghettoization, previous record) are vulnerable to arrest.

Note that jails not only protects the richer from violence, it also lowers the percentage of Democratic voters and gives lots of jobs, maybe 200,000,  prison workers who get a salary and go home at night and would increase unemployment if those in jail were free and jailers lost jobs (as well as construction workers who build the prisons.)

The dynamics of who crosses which border are where we need deep understanding. Why are those in jail 80% democrats, 60% dark skinned, and those  who come from rural poverty the majority of volunteers for the military.

Since society cannot crate enough demand there is not enough work for all. Poverty, like wealth. must be distributed. Who gets is and how? Clearly color and ghettoization are a major part. As the economy tightens (it has been despite official figures) economic anxiety increases and people seek alignments with those who might be on a path to survivability. Hence being white, youthful, socialized to bureaucracy (education) are favored. Those who don’t fit are shunned as being those on the path to losing.

 

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1614. evolution, the idolatry of change, and elites

Evolution is used to justify inequality and the change dynamics of society. “We are evolving with  progess. Evolution is natural and so we are natural.”Change is good because it is evolution. Yet those who benefit from change are a minority. Sure, washing machines, TV, iPhones.. and a million others

But we need to look at the overall system which uses innovation as a path to personal gain. It is obvious that the system is rigged – look at inequality and the ability of the minority to manipulate tax schedules through congress –

Nature’s evolution is slow, testing out the implications of every change for survivability and advance. Social evolution works differently. We take a new technical evolution (or it could be regulatory or financial) and protect it with isolating it from other systems. and allowing it to emerge and find markets without cross checking with all the other aspects of society and nature.

The result si not good. We ruin the environment, overcome primitive society’s modes of population  control (business and war want more people, as consumers, cheap workers), and increasingly rely on war to obtain or defend.

Darwin’s Origin of the Species, wherein after many years he finally found the structure of the british upper class in nature, titled the book

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

The suppressed sub-title as well as the blindness to the idea that cooperation leads to species success tells us much that we are not paying attention to. The very idea of progress, evolution, the idolatry of change is in need of deeper understanding.

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1613. vices into virtues: the impact of economics.

stae breakers after corbetThe current dominance of economics as the most pervasive language of current events has reduced the world to an immediate and urgent drive to get and preserve “assets”, not to plan, not to design, not to have a vision of the longer term good of society, much less one’s own life. At the same time governance structures are unable to cope because the government itself has become an instrument of advantage-seeking. History used to unfold slower and have less reach into people’s lives. Now everything is fast and the reach is total: big brother is watching. The goal used to be an ethical society, even if we couldn’t quite achieve it ourselves, and we judged others for violations. Now this seems to be fading and we accept the violations as just part of life in society (without community).

To put it more strongly, the vices of the old system: lust, greed, pride, ambition, dishonesty, narcissism become positive qualities and modes of being when tied to success. This is one reason why capitalism is so attractive: it allows a reversal of the old sins into virtues

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1610. Math, body and life

Mathematics is fascinating and one of the true humanities. Mechanics is a great craft and a testimony to the spirit of human invention and usefulness.

But to the extent that the mathematical is teated as definitive of reason and mechanical as the machinery of all life, we are in trouble. And we are in trouble

Humans are emotional, which means related and caring. Not irrational. The technical is craft and very much a part of art but when the organic is replaced by mechanical approximations, the loss of the organic is catastrophic. And we are living in a catastrophe.

The human, and much of life, is a blend of body emotion and reason. You cannot separate the beauty of the flower from the flower. You cannot understand the meaning of a meal for two from a meal for one.

Math maps well onto the actions of the body in space and time. It has reversibility. I can go from here to there and back.

Drama maps onto the gut It is not reversible

Both together provide a good mapping of life.

And note that the mind is a blend of the two mappings, the two symbolic forms,  as Ernst  Cassirer calls them.

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