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Feb 14 2011

A few words about the Zeitgeist sequels

Our opinion of the movie Zeitgeist should be pretty well known by now. It is an extremely bad and tedious bit of filmmaking, and the scholarship in it is awful, and we disagree with all of parts 2 and 3, as well as nearly all of part 1. And if you need a reminder about why, here are three sites dealing, respectively, with the claims that:
  1. Jesus never existed.
  2. 9/11 was an inside job.
  3. U.S. citizens don’t really have to pay taxes.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me share a few recent emails.

2/11/11

I was wondering if you guys were aware of the (second) sequel to that terrible film, Zeitgeist, and if you plan on talking about it any time soon. If you’ve done it recently, I apologize for spamming you… I haven’t had the opportunity to watch the last few episodes just yet. I’ve just started watching the sequel on YouTube (so you don’t have to do any googling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z9WVZddH9w&feature=feedlik), and in the first 10 minutes they started harping on how Biology is wrong because there’s such a thing as epigenetics. Sounds like more relatively well-informed stupidity to me. I only watch it for the same reason I saw Expelled and What The Bleep Do We Know !!!111!? My hopes for humanity diminish proportionally.

1/28/11

by the way you sould look the new film ” zeitgeist Moving Forward ” where we see how
[long list of names with irrelevant credentials]
…etc and of course Peter Joseph

describe that our current system breeds insanity

and i hope you dont act emotional about the word zeitgeist because

” Zeitgeist moving forward ” is not like the first film

1/25/11

I am a member of The Zeitgeist Movement and would love to get your feedback on what the movement is advocating. I have searched high and low for evidence that the concepts of this movement are falsifiable, but have yet to find any information doing so. I’m not sure as to whether or not you are aware of the difference between The Zeitgeist films and the Movement, but there is certainly an expressed difference.

11/29/10

Also, your host insistently bash the Zeitgeist movement and 911 truth. This really baffles me because the Zeitgeist Movement is a just secular movement that advocates the scientific method for social concern (doing away with corrupt monetary capitalism that allows children to go hunger)

Yes, okay, we get it. We heard you. Thanks. The guy who made Zeitgeist has made another movie– actually TWO other movies now — and they cover different topics than the original movie. Lastly, this message is from a comment on a Facebook link I shared that relates to Medicare. Though the commenter doesn’t mention Zeitgeist directly, he did bring up the theme of the last two movies.

 

The better solution than social services is a Resource Based Economy and the elimination of the monetary system altogether. We cannot possible print enough money to solve all of our problems and we certainly cannot save our way to the needed solutions through austerity measures. The ‘bottom line’ is that money is THE constraint on human progress (well, that and cultural conditioning).

So, okay, I’ve finally decided I need to respond to this steady stream of emails, if only so I can have something to link in the future.

I have not watched the new movies, as I greatly prefer to do actual reading over sitting through talking heads. I have set it aside as something I might watch. After all, I suffered through What the Bleep Do We Know? and I guess I can get around to this one too, eventually. From what I understand, Zeitgeist: Addendum and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (which I shall henceforth refer to as ZA/ZMF because I hate typing) are mostly focused on popularizing something called “The Venus Project” (see link). It’s a Utopian movement by a guy named Jacque Fresco — Engineer, Design Consultant, and “Futurist” — and he’s been going around pitching this idea of a resource-based economy.

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting: Atlantis. I mean, The Venus Project.

Here’s what that means as I read it. The financial system is broken beyond all hope of repair, so we abolish all forms of currency. In its place, everyone gets boundless freedom to use “resources.” Money is a fiction anyway, and the federal reserve is evil (as explained in the first Zeitgeist, part 3), and people are going hungry because we artificially limit resources (i.e. food) when they could be made useful for everyone (i.e., feeding third world countries).

I’m a fairly liberal guy. I believe that there are problems with our current economic system, and some such problems stem from unregulated capitalism. A couple of recent sources for information I recommend are The Big Short by Michael Lewis, which traced the origins of the recent banking crisis in a highly entertaining and readable way; and this episode of the show This American Life, in which they discuss the ways in which money is really a convenient fiction.

On the other hand, I’m a numbers geek, and from my perspective, money — though “fictional” in some sense — was a fantastic technological advancement in the history of civilization. In any system of trade, some kind of valuation is going to arise naturally. Economists may call it “utils,” or it may just be that we compare the value of one thing to the value of something else on an individual basis (“I’ll give you two chickens for that hatchet”). Money is simply a means of formalizing a system that people are going to agree on one way or another. In prison it becomes cigarettes. In the future it’s probably moving towards all digital currency. Heck, you can even calculate a meaningful exchange rate between United States Dollars and World of Warcraft gold pieces (after adjusting for a lot of inflation due to the recent Cataclysm expansion). It’s an abstraction that achieves a goal. Barter systems are fine in small villages, but they are hopeless at large scales.

In any case, “scarcity” does not exist because of money. Quite the opposite, in fact — money exists in large part because scarcity exists. While many resources such as air and sunlight are effectively in infinite supply, other things are very definitely limited. An excellent (though fairly disturbing) book on the subject is Collapse by Jared Diamond. Diamond studied a number of cultures which, for one reason or another, didn’t survive — they experienced massive population crashes in which a large proportion of their citizens died over a short period of time. In most cases it was because they ran out of something.

In fact, I can kind of sum up Diamond’s formula for disaster that is common among most civilizations that died by their own hands:

 

  1. You have a limited resource. In one case it was timber (cutting down trees on an island faster than they grew back) and in another, it was grazeable farmland.
  2. Something about your civilization requires you to use a lot of that resource.
  3. It starts to run out, but the culture is rigid and resists change.
  4. People talk about breaking their dependency on this resource, but don’t actually do anything about it.
  5. Much to everyone’s surprise, it runs out.
  6. Turns out the requirement for that resource is pretty widespread. Many people die.

I’m not going to go off on a tangent about which finite resources we rely on in modern society (*cough*oil*cough*) but even so, I’m pretty well convinced that if we solved one problem of scarcity, the problem would just move off to something else.

And that’s where money comes in. It is an abstraction that puts a value on resources with different levels of scarcity. They’re not all concrete resources, either: people enjoy their free time, and working to accomplish a difficult task (like volunteering to fly to a third world country and deliver mass quantities of food) is frequently regarded as a “what’s in it for me?” situation. That’s not money’s fault. Money is simply a method of making an abstract concept (“What’s it worth to ya?”) be attached to concrete numbers.

Oh, but I forgot to mention how this problem of scarcity is solved under Jacque Fresco’s system. Here, let me quote:
“A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.”

And also:
“With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy.”

So you see, this is easily achievable, as long as we first keep in mind the intermediate goals of developing unlimited, clean, renewable energy sources. Also, since human government officials are inherently corrupt, we just need to develop artificially intelligent administrators to manage our cities and distribute everything efficiently.

Riiiiiight.

Artificial intelligence and alternative energy research are only a couple of the most complicated problems facing inventors, businesses, and academics. Have been for decades. And to think that you can hand-wave that away as a minor inconvenience blocking the realization of your Utopia, that’s a pretty damn extraordinary claim. In fact, I would venture to say that if you could create a world with no scarce resources, that all by itself would do a hell of a lot more to fix everything than whatever fantasy anti-currency government system the Venus Project promoters can dream up.

And then there’s this issue of benevolent computer systems that will impartially make sure everyone gets everything they want. Okay, I’ve been involved with software development for most of my adult life, and I feel pretty comfortable saying we’re not replacing all our politicians with robot administrators any time real soon. But even after assuming that little hurdle is crossed, artificial intelligence isn’t a magic solution to anything. There’s no reason to think it would be more advanced than human intelligence to start with, and if it eventually got there, no reason to think it would be any less self-serving.

Show of hands, please. How many people want to turn over our economy to these guys? …Thank you.

Okay, I’m not saying that all artificial intelligence is inevitably going to conquer humanity and harvest their essences to power an elaborate virtual reality that enslaves us or anything. I’m just saying, I don’t see why the AI is going to make any decisions better than a human with some really good ideas who knows how to use data mining tools. A better question is, why don’t we elect one of those?

Getting rid of money wouldn’t save the world from scarce resources. If anything, the immediate effect would be that without a perceptible cost to themselves, people would use up those resources faster than ever. I don’t see how these super-cities that Jacque Fresco invented will stop people from wanting to travel, which is one of the big ones when it comes to draining energy. In fact, if I had all this free time and were unlimited by capital, that’s the first thing I’d do a lot more of. And I can’t envision a realistic political path to implement what sounds mainly like “Socialism… With Robots!” when you have the Tea Party just slavering to declare that Civilization As We Know It is coming to an end if we allow some tax cuts to expire.

So in the end, I’m left with an impression of The Venus Project that is not much different from the original Zeitgeist. It’s a large group of fans with who have coalesced around a group of persuasive amateurs, drawn to the notion that they have uncovered some deep and massive truth that is hidden from the rest of us willfully deceived, blind fools. It is largely ignored by people who have expertise in anything relevant like, say, economics — not because they’re trying to suppress it, but because there’s basically nothing of substance there.

There. You asked my opinion. Now you’ve got it. I hope you’re satisfied.

106 comments

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  1. 1
    Error323

    As a student who almost has his master degree in A.I. I would just like to point out that designing an artificial intelligent agent which is smarter than us (whatever that means) is indeed a complex problem. In fact, that is an understatement. It is not (just) a matter of requiring more powerful computers, but more importantly its the software itself that needs to be developed which is the real challenge. A challenge which isn't even close to a solution.P.s. Not trying to argue from authority here, but lets just say I have yet to come across a method/algorithm/model that convinced me.

  2. 2
    trj

    Technology magically overcomes the problem of scarce resources. How? Well, somehow! It's technology, after all. Technology has the ability to do anything! Otherwise it wouldn't be technology.I agree; these guys know nothing about economcis or politics or, for that matter, human nature – which of course doesn't prevent them from getting that comfortable superior feeling that they're so much smarter than all those stupid sheeple who don't understand how the world really works.

  3. 3
    Warren Grubb

    I am sure you will get slammed from people pointing out that you aren't able to address what is "really" in the movies since you didn't watch them, but regarding the ideas you discussed- how in the hell does someone who is paranoid about our current monetary and social system manage to trust a computerized system? The fact alone that these systems would be designed by "the man" seems like a huge magnet for conspiracy theories.

  4. 4
    arensb

    Gosh, next you'll be telling me that I was a fool to convert my abstract, fiat-based dollars for the nice, solid silver and gold sold by that nice economist in that late-night infomercial.

  5. 5
    DavidCT

    The problem of limited resources can be directly related to an infestation of "carbon units". The clear solution to this problem is to eliminate the carbon units. Don't take my word for it – check with VIGER.Listening to these Utopian types solving economic problems with no clue about economics is like listening to a creationist talk about why evolution is wrong without a clue as to what evolution is.

  6. 6
    John K.

    My favorite part of ZA was that guy's solution to drunk driving. A pendulum would detect when a driver swerves and keep the car going straight. See!? Technology is easy! Never mind that you would never be able to turn this car should the road curve. . .The rest of the ideas in the movie struck me to be similarly well planned out. I do not plan to bother with the latest installment.

  7. 7
    TroopDawg

    Russel, Don't buy gold. You'll get banned.

  8. 8
    Dances_with_the_beast

    Resource based economy? Done! http://starcraft.wikia.com/wiki/Vespene_gasAI to make decisions in a resource based economy? Done!http://eis.ucsc.edu/StarCraftAICompetitionNow all we have to do is find three extra earth-like planets to support 7 billion consumerists.

  9. 9
    Strangelove

    As a German I always feel weirdly proud of seeing a German loan word incorporated into the English language. Beautiful words like gesundheit, rucksack, bratwurst or wunderkind. But in the case of these movies things have gone too far. This godawful, unscientific and dishonest dreck has tainted the perfectly fine word zeitgeist so much that whenever I use it I can't help but making an association with these f'ing movies.So yeah, we want our word back. You've been give care of an innocent verbal nugget and now it's kaputt. Unreasonable, you say? Zeitgeist. There. What did you just think of? 'Spirit of the times' or 'Oh, that f'ing movie'? I guess I made my point.Herrschaftszeiten

  10. 10
    Improbable Joe

    You aren't going to satisfy the Utopians, since you didn't even attempt to take each sentence and image in the movie and create an individual 10-page refutation for each one. Even that won't help, because that's missing the point of all this nonsense. If you look deeper into the "Zeitgeist Movement" and the "Venus Project" what you find is that it is really more like Amway. In the same way that Amway doesn't really sell anything except Amway, all that the Zeitgeisters have to offer is these crap movies. Basically, they're recruiters looking to find more people to spread the videos. There's no real plan of any sort, no organized action that I have been able to ascertain, besides convincing people to watch the damned movies. If you check out their website under "what to do" all you find is different ways to spread the word and requests for cash. I think that the underlying theory is that if only enough people watch the movies and agree with them, all the other issues will magically fall into place. It is like printing up flyers and making T-shirts and stickers for your band before actually learning to play any songs.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Kazim

    FSM, does EVERYTHING that Zeitgeistbots say or think have to be redirected into yet another 90 minutes worth of video? If you have a point to make then say it your damn self.

  13. 13
    mikekoz68

    'Improbable Joe' is right, the Zeitgeist movement is a lot like the Amway way of doing things, now surely, Kazim, you don't have anything against Amway? ;)

  14. 14
    rhettboy

    Yeah lets solve the resource shortage by eliminating the one thing that stops resource usage from becoming an unrestricted free for all clusterfuck.What fucking knuckle dragging genius came up with that brilliant idea?

  15. 15
    James A. Brown

    Certain politicians are corrupt, so let's pick politicians who aren't corrupt. Why didn't anyone tell me that was an option!?Also, we don't trust Big Government, so let's put our lives in the hands of Big Computers!

  16. 16
    Muz

    Kazim: Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Zeitgeist is…

  17. 17
    Stephen

    I'm not up on this whole Zeitgeist thing. I read a bit about it, and came to the same conclusion rhettboy mentions.The solution to scarce resources is to allow everyone free, unconstrained access to resources? That will absolutely remove the "scarcity of resources" problem. If you run out of X, then X is no longer scarce.

  18. 18
    Thomas

    It sounds like the author hasn't put much thought into why our political system is corrupt in the first place. In a democracy where money is speech (and poor people have neither), politicians have to make compromises. Even if there was a perfect algorithm to determine how many hours someone should work job X in exchange for resource allocation Y, you would still have to make sacrifices to get elected, and then more to implement that policy.Of course, he doesn't seem to be advocating a democracy. He seems to be advocating a totalitarian dictatorship, or perhaps a Star Trek: TNG society, where nobody has to work, but the toilets still get cleaned.An algorithm like the one described couldn't possibly be compatible with a Democratic society.Also, for a literary reference, I am thinking I-robot, although it has been too long since I read it.

  19. 19
    Kazim

    @Thomas: Yes, the Star Trek analogy came up when I discussed this on another forum. One of the things we discussed in relationship to Star Trek is that it appears to be a society with no money but loads of status. Why is it that James T. Kirk gets to be the captain of the starship while Ensign Ricky has to wear the red shirt and follow him around? Why can't I just stroll into the nearest starship depot and take my favorite new model out for a spin, since nobody "owns" it?The answer we hit on is that Kirk has proven his abilities and has been promoted, but that just begs the question of who gets to make the decisions for all of society. Does military authority rule over every citizen of the Federation society? Here in the 21st century, that's what we call a military junta, and it's not exactly a utopia either.

  20. 20
    Thomas

    @KazimI like the "Who gets to be captain" analogy, because as we all know, the flaw in my logic is that star ships have no bathrooms.

  21. 21
    magx01

    I don't see what's so far fetched about a perfect Utopia with limitless resources, no money, no greed, no crime, and no manual labour…….

  22. 22
    Konrad Zielinski

    I found this response to the entire movement quite interesting. http://conspiracyscience.com/blog/2010/10/24/seeing-like-a-state-why-zeitgeists-world-changing-visions-are-a-recipe-for-disaster/And especially the book the chronicles how every attempt to producing something even remotely like a Venus project model city has ended in failure.Afterward I went out and bought the "Seeing Like a State book", though I haven't actually read much of it yet :(

  23. 23
    OnceProudKnight

    I watched the anime "Appleseed" today. In the movie there's a utopia called Olympus run by a powerful super, sentient computer who is evened out (decision making wise) by being in constant debate with 7 elder humans before making a final decision on anything for the fate of the utopia.Immediately reminded me of this, lol

  24. 24
    Vasper85

    I think why you need ten pages to refute a single point for a zeitgeister is that nothing is a simple black or white answer. It takes evidence and evidence takes a heck of alot of reading, so it is easier to slap on a label and dismiss, dismiss, dismiss. Rinse and repeat.

  25. 25
    Mamba24

    @ Vasper85… I'm sorry so are you saying you're a zeitgeist believer/follower?

  26. 26
    Matti

    Rather than Star Trek, I think Iain M Bank's Culture is probably the more immediate inspiration. They're both "post-scarcity" societies but the Culture is explicitly administered by AIs (Minds, as it were). People live (mostly) on artificial space habitats which are, in short, gigantic enough to eliminate the need/motivation for travel or ships that can and do accommodate hundreds of billions of people (think mega-Mega City). The Culture however doesn't have spaceship captains since the ships are operated by Minds (or several in the case of the big ships) and a humanoid captain would be something like an intestinal bacteria thinking it's running the humanoid (analogous both in size and comparative mental capacity). The Culture funnily enough also has developed a saying/truism "money is the sign of poverty" (when dealing with less advanced civilizations).Also,Kazim: "I don't see why the AI is going to make any decisions better than a human with some really good ideas who knows how to use data mining tools. A better question is, why don't we elect one of those?"Humans are actually really, REALLY bad at making accurate decisions/predictions based on integrating large amounts of data.Statistical Prediction Rules, which can be as something as simple as a linear model of formP = w1(c1) + w2(c2) + w3(c3) + …wn(cn),(where P is the calculated value of some target property, c:s are the values of cues and w:s are the weights given to those cues)can, and do outperform human experts on virtually any field (medical diagnoses, criminology, wine price predictions).Funnier still is the that a human experts equipped with an SPR STILL does worse than an SPR alone!See: http://lesswrong.com/lw/3gv/statistical_prediction_rules_outperform_expert/So, there is actually something to be said for letting super-rational machines make at least some administrative decisions if not for any other reason than the fact that humans actually have a pretty shitty track record if you care to turn a critical eye towards us.With that all that said, I'm not a Zeitgeist/Project Venus enthusiast. Then again, I'd much rather live in the Culture than within our economic system of capitalism that teeter-totters from one disaster to another and our political system that's riddled with phenomena like the Tea Party. And sadly enough those are actually some of the better systems we currently got going on this planet!

  27. 27
    Traustifreyr

    These zeitgeist-bots are fairly scary people. Almost universally brainwashed into conspiracy thinking and pseudo-eliteism (oh we so smart! we be knowing things you sheeple dont know, derp derp)Scary thing is that *very convinced people are very convincing*I even have a friend that thinks these movies make interesting points.

  28. 28
    Kazim

    Vasper, that really wasn't what I asked. I didn't say anything about reading; I asked why they insist on VIDEO as a response to arguments. Because while you're paying lip service to the notion of reading up on evidence, what "Anon" did above was really quite lazy in itself: "Here, watch 90 minutes of video, I bet the answer to your points is in there somewhere." That's not what I call engaging.

  29. 29
    Kazim

    @Matti: What you're saying is valid in the sense that a person who doesn't consider mathematical models and statistical analysis is not working with a complete set of information. Of course, that in no way implies that a human equipped with this information would not make better decisions than an automated system that rigidly sticks to a model without genuine (as opposed to artificial) intelligent guidance.Data mining is freaking hard. It depends as much on human input to catch anomalies and surprises in the patterns detected, as it depends on "perfect" models.

  30. 30
    IfNotNowWhen

    Hi,I don't consider myself a follower of anything, I try very hard not to have any preconceived ideas about any subject, obviously that is very hard, but I think the simple awareness of the fact, is quite important. A friend sent me this link, when I told him about the Zeitgeist (Z) ideas. He is a follower of your movement (if I can call him that).From all the notions of reality and absolute certainty that I have come across, the only thing that so far as met my standards is the scientific method (SM).Like everything else that I currently believe in, which is absolutely susceptible of changing based on evidence, I think that the SM has been, so far, the most important human invention towards adapting to the planet.I always learn a lot more with people that don’t agree with me, than with people that do, so I would like to thank you for your effort to discuss this new ideas in a constructive civilized way.What I take from the Z ideas is a little bit different than what you do, so let me tell you why:In order to learn better I usually try to concentrate more on the abstraction or model of an idea and not so much on the way it is communicated, most of the issues addressed so far like the Star Trek, 9/11 or the FED are just examples to communicate a point across.For example the human brain process of believing that 9/11 was not a controlled explosion and was done by the Talibans is very similar to believing that God exists. Both cannot be proven using the SM so the answer needs to be “I don’t know”, but the problem is that humans are very uncomfortable in the “not know” territory and that is something we probably need to address for our longer survival as a species. In other words I wouldn’t commit to killing myself to go to heaven, or invading a country cause “the Talibans did it”, but I would commit to travel by plane, because its ability to fly can be proven using the SM.To be honest I find words like impossible, utopia, right, wrong, never, always, very immature, If we could have learned something since Galilee’s times, is that the meaning of those words is conditioned to current knowledge.My understand of reality evolves every day, the same way a child will always believes in Santa up the point it stops believing it :)I have a master’s in Business and when I read the Wealth of Nations for the first time, I saw nothing wrong with it, when I came across the complex theories of economics I started to question things I have never question before, and the zeitgeist ideas just came to complement some of those conclusions. One thing you learn by seeing evolution as an algorithm is that the realm of possibilities is virtually infinite, so when we ask ourselves “what did I believe before this, how many different things did I believe before reaching these conclusions”? For example one of you might have believe in GOD but now doesn’t anymore… If the answer to that question is I believed 1 or 2 ideas before this one, then wanting to have found the best possible solution is like wanting to win the lottery the first time you play…The more times you change your mind based on the SM, the better the solutions you should be able to find, at least so far it has worked this way… I was raised catholic by the way, and that was probably one of my first states of understanding reality, which is long gone… Actually this state of being sure, right or certain can, probably, only be accomplished by ignoring ignorance…Now we can start talking about not who is right or wrong, but what works better than something else, towards a certain goal…I have to go, this all time I have for now, but I can continue on this point if enough of you are interested in my opinion.Thanks for reading,Ca Ferr

  31. 31
    Kazim

    Ah, just what I've come to expect from Zeitgeisters: empty platitudes, mockery at not being able to see the conspiracy right under our noses, and a complete absence of specific reference to anything the post was talking about.

  32. 32
    IfNotNowWhen

    Hi Kazim,Cool, thanks for replying, I don't know if I'm the zeitgeister you mentioned, but as I said I don't consider myself to be a follower of any kind…My opinion is that labels like Zeitgeisters, capitalist, pagan etc… can sometimes be dangerous as they work as a 'permission for a brain shut'. I'm not a Zeitgeister I'm a human, as we all are, this 'us against them' mindset needs to end if we want to survive as a specie.I understand that we all need some models to handle the complexity of reality, they range from the most imperfect like labels, stigmas, religions to the more rigorous like maths, statistics, science. But we should not confuse those models with the reality itself. If I would have to qualify the current economic models I would say they are halfway between religion and maths…As a human I don't feel superior or inferior to any other human, and I don't feel defensive about any human response I might have to certain conditioning.The reason why, when I see the 9/11 images, I see a clear demolition (which the Talibans might have caused, I don't know and don't care) and other people see some kind of amazing fuel effect (which I'm sorry but can't explain any better) is because we have different conditioning.Both are natural human responses to the same thing and we don't have to be defensive about neither… I don't know if you are in 'learning mode' but I am, so I would very much like to learn from you.In your opinion what are the overall goals of the current socio-economic model? Things like sustainability? equality? maximum happiness? maximum resource usage, since we only live once? maximum confort? Minimum effort? What is it?Thanks for your time,later,Ca Ferr

  33. 33
    Rudolf

    I`m an engineering student. What I like about the Zeitgeist movement is that all of the technology they are proposing is possible… The problem is money. I read a comment saying that they want to remove the one thing that is keeping everyone from consuming everything. The way I see it is that they want to remove the one thing that is preventing us from providing what is needed… The only reason why we can`t feed the billions of starving people around the world is because it is too expensive. If money wasn`t an issue we would simply build the aeroponics factories to provide all the food needed in each area. Done. It`s possible. The only problem is money. I think we can also agree that the majority of crime is money related.

  34. 34
    James

    I've been reading a lot of comments here, and I'm just getting into a lot of the Zeitgeist Movement's information and research. And learning about Kazim's movement.But in this post I wanted to discuss a movement I have been a part of for the better part of last year, and up till now. I have spent a lot of effort in this, and so have many other credentialed scientists and researchers. I am, of course, talking about our society's dependence upon Temperatures. Weather could be whatever we needed it to be if we didn't have these arbitrary scales forced upon us by a small elite. We have an entire continent without a healthy population because a number says it is inhabitable. If we could move beyond these simple, child-like measurements any weather could be possible.Here's a link to the first part of my video series I have discussing this, and it's companion series discussing criticisms and various errata.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV8SU2DH9tgKazim, Zeitgeisters, I hope you will view this with open eyes, and open minds. We could really change this world if people would just wake up from their child-like state of Temperature.

  35. 35
    IfNotNowWhen

    Hi Rudolf, that is an excellent point, I have a question for you thou, what is keeping us from consuming all the oxygen in the world?What I take from the Z ideas is that scarcity is proportional to the need of money.There is no question that money facilitates trades, but the need for trading is also proportional to scarcity.I’m not doubting money is a great human invention, and we wouldn't even be talking about Z, if money didn't exist, so it is all part of an evolution process.Having said that, what is the price we pay for using money? As you rightly pointed out, most crimes are money related, I have never came across a system involving money that was not corruptible, it promotes social differences and most of all, it rewards lack of empathy and is in no way connected to social contribution. When it is viewed as commodity on its own and not only as a way of facilitating trades of real commodities, you can watch the self-corruption of the trading’s system itself.But money is only the tip of the iceberg, because it has obvious good usages as well, its big brothers are the real issue. Ownership, Profit and Competitive advantage are some of the most corrosive and wasteful human inventions. I would compare it to the invention of the atomic bomb; its sole use is to enable us to fight each other, better. And I think Z does a good job, demystifying any possible motivational justifications for it.I don’t know if what the Z proposes would reduce scarcity and increase equality, therefor improving human life, but no one does. That is the point; I think that there is enough ground to test it using the SM. The beauty of the SM is that no one needs to pretend to guess the future, you simply try it and the next step will become self-evident. The guy that discovered electricity didn’t need to become overwhelmed by the possibility of having TVs…If we can prove, using the SM, that the current system is the best possible under current knowledge or that human self-destruction is inevitable I’m prepared to accept as being as natural as the existence of life or the extinction of other species. But I feel that a lot still needs to be done until we reach that point. I can talk about some things the Z ideas need to improve if you want, but from the evolution I’ve seen in the movies, I don’t think most of the people that like Z would have a problem with changing their minds…

  36. 36
    Kazim

    @IfNotNowWhenMy opinion is that labels like Zeitgeisters, capitalist, pagan etc… can sometimes be dangerous as they work as a 'permission for a brain shut'. I'm not a Zeitgeister I'm a human, as we all are, this 'us against them' mindset needs to end if we want to survive as a specie.(Shrug) If you think that applying words to points of view is a threat to our survival, then you are probably going to be wasting your time posting on a blog called "The ATHEIST Experience," no?My opinion would be that when people fixate on nitpicking the wording that is being used, they are frequently doing so to deliberately sidestep the real issues. Just my two cents.The reason why, when I see the 9/11 images, I see a clear demolition…Is entirely irrelevant to this thread, and was not the point of discussion on this post. If you want a discussion about your 9/11 fantasies, I recommend you swing by the forums at http://conspiracyscience.com/forums/ and I'm sure they'll be happy to go over your information. Meantime, this thread was about the new stuff around the Venus Project, and that's what I'll discuss here.In your opinion what are the overall goals of the current socio-economic model?Things like sustainability? equality? maximum happiness? maximum resource usage, since we only live once? maximum confort? Minimum effort? What is it?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Money"In the past, money was generally considered to have the following four main functions, which are summed up in a rhyme found in older economics textbooks: 'Money is a matter of functions four, a medium, a measure, a standard, a store.' That is, money functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a standard of deferred payment, and a store of value. However, most modern textbooks now list only three functions, that of medium of exchange, unit of account, and store of value, not considering a standard of deferred payment as a distinguished function, but rather subsuming it in the others."The question of "How shall we live?" and "In what ways should we use our time?" is a reasonable question of personal philosophy. While it's a very good topic of discussion, the idea that ignoring economics as we know will somehow change the answer to something more like what you want to hear is naive at best and — for reasons I very specifically explained in the post which you haven't even touched on — potentially disastrous for the sustainability of human life.

  37. 37
    Kazim

    @James:The only reason why we can`t feed the billions of starving people around the world is because it is too expensive. If money wasn`t an issue we would simply build the aeroponics factories to provide all the food needed in each area. Done.Why, yes! You're right! If cost were no object — and if energy, labor, time, and natural resources existed in unlimited supply — then there would be no scarcity! That's a piercing bit of insight. Wouldn't it be great if we could just tinker with the description of these resource and suddenly have them in unlimited quantities? Armchair philosophy is so much fun; it allows you to get that positive rush of feeling that comes from solving problems without having to actually do anything about them.

  38. 38
    Kazim

    @James:Oooooh, you rapscallion. It took me a couple of read-throughs to see the satire, then I LMAO. Well done!

  39. 39
    Kazim

    Having said that, what is the price we pay for using money? As you rightly pointed out, most crimes are money related, I have never came across a system involving money that was not corruptible, it promotes social differences and most of all, it rewards lack of empathy and is in no way connected to social contribution.Implying, I suppose, that in moneyless societies, crime and corruption do not exist. That's because nobody ever fought anybody else over a personal dispute, or a member of the opposite sex, or territory, or religious differences, or philosophical differences, or general fear and paranoia, or…Yes, yes, I see it all clearly now. If only we would stop attaching numbers to things, all of those motives would go away as well. So simple and straightforward.

  40. 40
    IfNotNowWhen

    Just a few notes regarding money and the original post that I forgot to address.Money was an obvious response to scarcity I think no one is trying to question that. The point is that money doesn't solve scarcity just deals with it.Energy and the use of the SM can diminish scarcity, and that is good for humans but it is not good for the economy.That happens because money has become the end itself and not just a mean to deal with a temporary problem, until a better solution becomes technologically available.I can give you right now 20 examples of things I've seen happening in the last month, in front of me, where people perceived a technological innovation that would benefit all humans including themselves to be going against their short term economic interests. And the problem is that they were right, human interest and economic interest don't necessary have to be the same. And the more innovation threatens scarcity the more it threatens money, since money can not exist without scarcity.This religion like believe, that by some magical effect of an 'invisible hand' economic growth will generate human happiness, is like other religious believes, which, as this blog knows, are very hard to tackle…

  41. 41
    IfNotNowWhen

    ‘If you think that applying words to points of view is a threat to our survival, then you are probably going to be wasting your time posting on a blog called "The ATHEIST Experience," no?’It is not describing 1 point of view with one word that is the problem, whatever the word is.The problem is thinking that a word can define several different points of view and several different complex people with complex ideas and conditioning. It’s dangerous because it can lead to the idea that we need to fight other groups of humans to get what we want, when in practice the better you understand yourself, the better you understand your species, therefore other’s needs… All I’m saying is that, I am the same as you, all I want is to be happy and everyone else as well, which I’m sure you want as well, so I don’t see how can a word distinguish us, and don’t see why all humanity interests need to be divisive, labelled or incompatible.I'm learning so it is not a waste of time, hope is not a waste of your time for you as well :) I have no more interest in talking about 9/11 than you, it was mentioned here before. I just used as an example on how perfectly rational people can be conditioned to believe anything, it doesn't have to be religion it can be nationalisms, cultural influences etc… That is why I like the SM, because it removes the subjectivities of 'opinions'.‘Yes, yes, I see it all clearly now. If only we would stop attaching numbers to things, all of those motives would go away as well. So simple and straightforward.’Lol, well if only it was that simple… All we know is that countries with less scarcity and less inequality have also less of those apparently unrelated problems. According to the SM that is good enough to try to reduce scarcity to a minimum and see what happens. I am not saying I have all the answers, but no one has, and usually in these situations the SM comes to our rescue. If we continue this line of talk, without trying first and then talk about measurable results, we will be like 2 cave men talking about, the requirements for building a control tower… ;)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MoneyMy question was not about the functions of money I have a master’s in business I know all those things, and for a long time I saw nothing wrong with it… My question is about your opinion on the goals of the current socio-economic system as a global system. For example the goals of a plane can be maximum speed, comfort, silence, safety, entertainment etc… A plane is a system where several parts interact to achieve a certain goal; the economy can be viewed like that as well…By the way I don’t think any of the plane's goals could have been accomplished by putting together a random amount of very complex pieces armed with a binary motivation and relying on an ‘invisible hand’ to do the rest…Regards,Ca Ferr

  42. 42
    FearlessLeader

    Really this whole idea of doing away with money to reduce or remove scarcity is something that a child would come up with. "If only people would just work for free then we could solve everyone's problems and no one would go hungry/be homeless/die of disease/etc."So noble, yet so misinformed.

  43. 43
    Quantum Skeptic

    Wha?? James was being satiric? But I already had my bags packed for Antarctica. Hawaiian shirts, shorts, and sandals only required!

  44. 44
    Keepitwolfson

    I'm not a "zeitgeister". I typically disagree with Peter Joseph and the Venus project because the ideas being put forth are "socialism with… robots" as you put it. I did happen to watch to ZMF before jumping to conclusions though. I think you may fixating on all the garbage VP solution and missing out on the general ideas being put forth. It is clear that our current state is completely corrupt and unsustainable. As an atheist who believes in evolution, you should understand the need to constantly address societal issues."scarcity does not exist because of money. Quite the opposite, in fact — money exists in large part because scarcity exists."While this is true, it's missing his point. Scarcity as in food for starving countries happens because people do not have enough money to be buy. Think about all the unused products and food that is thrown out everyday simply because it wasn't bought."While many resources such as air and sunlight are effectively in infinite supply, other things are very definitely limited."Obviously, but one of the points is that the profit motive keeps us on scarce resources since they are the most profitable and easiest to exploit. It costs more to develop completely new technologies than use existing ones that will only continue to be more profitable as time goes on."I'm not going to go off on a tangent about which finite resources we rely on in modern society (*cough*oil*cough*) but even so, I'm pretty well convinced that if we solved one problem of scarcity, the problem would just move off to something else."This is one of the things the films speaks out against most which you would have known if you had watched it…. So because nothing is perfect we shouldn't try to better our current state? Sounds kind of weird coming from someone who runs a blog called The Atheist Experience….."alternative energy research are only a couple of the most complicated problems facing inventors, businesses, and academics"Why is this? Could it have something to do with the profit motive?"In fact, I would venture to say that if you could create a world with no scarce resources, that all by itself would do a hell of a lot more to fix everything than whatever fantasy anti-currency government system the Venus Project promoters can dream up."Ummmmmm…….. That's almost the entire point of the third film. Maybe you should check things out before you jump to conclusions."There's no reason to think it would be more advanced than human intelligence to start with, and if it eventually got there, no reason to think it would be any less self-serving."Beware Skynet, bro. Next time you are using a calculator, watch out, it has it's own agenda. Watched Jeopardy lately? Cause Winston is putting humans to shame."I don't see why the AI is going to make any decisions better than a human with some really good ideas who knows how to use data mining tools."This is almost obfuscation. He's not proposing that AI makes every decision."Getting rid of money wouldn't save the world from scarce resources. If anything, the immediate effect would be that without a perceptible cost to themselves, people would use up those resources faster than ever."This assumes that we continue to use fossil fuels which is what a large part of the film is speaking out against. This has already been addressed, but the profit motive is one of the things holding back new technologies and efficiency to a certain extent. Ex. the stagnation of fuel economy."This blog encourages believers who disagree with us to comment."I'm sure you are just going to insult me without responding to anything I've said though.

    1. 44.1
      James Conboy

      @keepitwolfson.

      Couldn’t agree more. They seem to have taken the somewhat crazy parts of the film and focused on those rather than take the main message about changing the monetary economic process. Playing down a character of something to take credit away from good points and facts is a shameful act, which a lot of people on here seem to be doing.

      I think they have watched the films and done this purposely, to improve their own standing and legitimacy when compared to, say, Zeitgeist addendum (the main focus of TZM).

      Or is thinking that the creators of a show discrediting other shows in order to improve their own status by comparison just a bit too ‘conspiracy’? . . .

  45. 45
    IfNotNowWhen

    Hi Keepitwolfson,Although I agree with most of your comment, it even generated a few laughs here and there, I think some of the things you said are going to generate defensive responses.So before anything else let me just say this: If being right means to know exactly what is real, then humans, will always be wrong. I will say more: all animals on the planet will always be wrong. So there is no need to be defensive about something that is common to all living things.The first tool we have to interpret reality are our senses, when looking at something some animals see more colours, some see less, some see more details…Although the concept of reality may change (but that is too philosophic for now :)), reality never changes, but our perceptions of it are in constant evolution, cause they are based on current knowledge and we are always learning new things and discovering new models for observing it.Did microorganisms existed, before the microscope was invented?I feel extremely happy every time I am proven wrong, because that is my definition of learning:Learn – to be proven wrong.When I look back doing my masters in business and I first came across the perfect rationality of the consumer, I thought that was a very smart way of making all those economic models work (on paper at least :)) Perfect rationality of the consumer, basically means that every time someone goes to the shop to buy a bottle of ketchup: 1 – Drives around in the car to find the best prices of ketchup on the nearest 10 shops2 – Estimates, based on of super-computer like calculations of the current and future inflation and interest values, the present value of all the expenses he will have in the future (including the reparation of the car from the accident he will have in 6 months…)3- Compares it to the present value of all the money he will make (using a crystal ball to guess he is going to be fired in 4 months)4-Does the same to every other product he could get in the market, to figure the opportunity costs.5-Then he compares the results for each product with a personal utility formula, which never changes with unrelated circumstances, meaning that it doesnt matter if he is tired, happy sick or late, lol6-And then he decides if he buys the product or not, based on all that information, which would make most normal people suicidal by then lolPeople complain that economists can never predict crises, I’m supersized the economy has ever even worked, being based in assumptions like this lol. There is a long list of assumptions just as crazy as this one as well, including the invisible hand, ignoring things like timing, networking, power laws, positive and negative feedback and most of all human conditioning… All these things are already known for many years, but addressing it, would make it a lot harder for Wall Street parasites to make money by printing it… :) I don’t look back and feel bad about how wrong I was, I feel good that I’ve learned something new. When I laugh about these ideas I laugh about myself, and I will do the same to the Z ideas once I’m proven wrong about those as well.The only thing that using the Scientific Method has guaranteed us so far is that we will get a model that is better than the previous one towards a certain goal, no model will ever be right, so there is no reason to be defensive about any of those old models…

  46. 46
    IfNotNowWhen

    Humans have been building this conditioning that being proved wrong is bad, when in my view it is exactly the opposite.I repeat, the state of being right can probably only be accomplished by ignoring ignorance.For argument sake, let’s leave money alone for now, money is great. :) More important points, to discuss in the future are: The biggest prove scarcity is less real than advocated is waste, 2 piles of rubbish the size of texas in the oceans… Productivity is contrary to employment, 80% of the working populations, create problems to pretend to solve it, because we have this conditioning that only people with jobs should have access to resources.Only 20% of the current jobs can not be done by machines.Money does not reward social contribution.Profit is milking problems not solving it.Ownership is an artificial concept that generates waste. Atheist know that when we die everything we “own”, including our body guests reused, so why can’t we just concentrate in usage while we are alive? Thanks for reading,Ca Ferr

  47. 47
    IfNotNowWhen

    Keepitwolfson,Just a small correction to something you said, if I may.Sunlight and Oxygen are not in infinite supply, they are just not scarce, which basically just means that we consume less than it’s being generated by the planet. Food was like that when we were gatherers.Water used to have the same status in most countries and now it can be more expensive than oil in some cases…Which again is good for the economy, not so good for people…On the other hand, why should people that anticipate they can make a profit selling water worry about not polluting rivers? It does not take a conspiracy, narrow minded self interest, with perverse game rules, is enough…Soon enough with all the air pollution, oxygen will become scarce as well. Then we will all watch those TV news shows talking about how the economy is doing great, and oxygen sales are going through the roof, in our living rooms wearing an oxygen mask.Actually I think the day before we finally destroy the planet, GDP will probably reach an all-time peak in most countries, which I guess means that we will all be very happy… dead

  48. 48
    Xtylish

    I think a computerized resource-handling system is a great idea… dunno what everyone's afraid of. It'd weed out corruption and opinions. Besides, its coding and structure would be totally transparent to all so anybody could look at it, review it and then make vocal their objections. It's funny people critize this idea for being fantastical and sci-fi when all the objections have a clear influence from watching too much Terminator and i-robot like it's gonna come alive or decide in a second that humans are the problem or some shit. Come on lads, when does your computer tell you that you personally are the problem and that the only way to fix it is for you to fuck off n' die or something to that effect. Anyway, the american dollar is worth less and less everytime I go buying crap online so I guess we'll see who's right about what. No point in speculating. I think TZM is projecting too far into the future… we'll see that stuff but not in our lifetimes. Baby steps, heh. Need to keep I.D out schools first ;P

  49. 49
    IfNotNowWhen

    By the way, I am not noble, I am just as selfish as the next guy. I just try to be selfish in the most effective way possible, based on the most advance available current knowledge. What is the point of being the only rich person in the world?When humans are a social animals, how can I be happy when I have no friends because everyone is after my money?How can I feel safe walking the street when everyone else is starving?How can I make sure people won't have a vested interest in convincing my children or grandchildren to try drugs?How can I have fun, or concentrate on enjoying my social contribution activities, when 80% of my daily efforts are channelled to solving virtual economic problems?

  50. 50
    gsw

    "providing universal health care"There I draw the line – robots will be permitted to assist doctors – but none will cut me up – I too know too much about AI. This is why communism collapsed: 'to each according to his needs' not according to her worth. Why waste 6+ years of your youth to study medicine if it brings no privilege – not all surgeons are born to be Docs without Borders candidates'. @Xtylish: "dunno what everyone's afraid of." We are afraid of the parasites! Those who will claim their share without providing anything. Without a value based accounting system, the current number would extrapolate!

  51. 51
    cdogknight666

    I Love "The Atheist Experience" and "The Non-Prophets" but after listening to the show on the 19th I have to question whether any of the hosts have ever even watched the 2nd and third zeitgeist film. Virtually all of the arguments that they made on the show have been refuted time and time again. As for the idea of a resource based economy being quote a "catch phrase" and not being able to work. There has been examples throughout history of societies not using money. Or at least limiting the rich poor divide. What the movie is advocating is that the whole reason for money is because of scarcity. Russel on the show says that oil is scarce. The truth is that human beings could move off of an edifice of oil, but in the current economic system it is not finacially viable. So it may never happen or it just takes forever.

  52. 52
    Xtylish

    @gsw Sorry man but that's just fear mongering bollocks you've either bought into or are peddling. It's crazy to think there's still people at their doorsteps with a sawn off shotgun afraid the next hitler is coming to visit. Those sponsored newws reports really do have an effect.

  53. 53
    Kazim

    @Keepitwolfson:"I'm not going to go off on a tangent about which finite resources we rely on in modern society (*cough*oil*cough*) but even so, I'm pretty well convinced that if we solved one problem of scarcity, the problem would just move off to something else."This is one of the things the films speaks out against most which you would have known if you had watched it…. So because nothing is perfect we shouldn't try to better our current state? Sounds kind of weird coming from someone who runs a blog called The Atheist Experience…..This sort of false dichotomy is the Zeitgeist movement's stock in trade. Either you agree wholeheartedly that the movement will do what it claims it will, or else "we shouldn't try to better our current state." It's not the intent that I'm criticizing; it's the notion that playing the Economics Fantasy League offers any kind of useful progress toward the solution."alternative energy research are only a couple of the most complicated problems facing inventors, businesses, and academics"Why is this? Could it have something to do with the profit motive?It could be because some problems actually have complex solutions that you don't arrive at through hand-waving.Ummmmmm…….. That's almost the entire point of the third film. Maybe you should check things out before you jump to conclusions.Okay, I'll bite. What is the Peter Joseph's proposed solution to creating non-scarce energy sources? Please be as specific as possible. What's the proposed path from "no more currency" to "abundant energy"?

  54. 54
    Kazim

    @IfNotNowWhen:My question is about your opinion on the goals of the current socio-economic system as a global system.You keep returning to that question, and I assume you actually think it means something. To my ears, the question in itself is nonsensical.As an analogy, you might just as well ask "What is the goal of the Internet?" And I don't mean in a general sense, as in "To allow people to disseminate information." I mean instead "What message do the people posting on the Internet collectively wish to convey?" On the Internet, you can find liberal and conservative messages, pro-life and pro-choice messages, Jewish support groups and Neo-Nazi sympathizers, Peter Joseph promoting the Venus Project and me making fun of the Venus Project.The Internet is a conduit that facilitates all this data. That's it. It is a cool technology that I work and play with every day, and I am delighted that it exists, but it is a medium and not a message.So when I hear Zeitgeisters say "People should stop using money as an excuse to not feed the world" that makes as much sense as saying "People should stop using the Internet to look at pictures of naked people." The naked women are there because many users like looking at naked people, and many other users are willing to take the initiative and provide it to them. The internet didn't create a naked people fetish; it just makes the delivery system smoother.Likewise, people don't come by their profit motives simply because they have money, and they aren't held back from transporting food to other nations simply because their scarce resources are represented by small green pieces of paper.

  55. 55
    Keepitwolfson

    "This sort of false dichotomy is the Zeitgeist movement's stock in trade. Either you agree wholeheartedly that the movement will do what it claims it will, or else "we shouldn't try to better our current state."Is it? I don't really know since I am not apart of or have never encountered any Z movement members. It's seems to me that you are creating the dichotomy though. I mean anybody who has slightly disagreed with you, you have been condescending or insulting towards. Then statements like these don't help. "I'm pretty well convinced that if we solved one problem of scarcity, the problem would just move off to something else."It's kind of a defeatist and anti-scientific approach towards societal issues. Nothing is perfect and nothing ever will be but that shouldn't stop us from trying to make things better."It could be because some problems actually have complex solutions that you don't arrive at through hand-waving."No shit, but you seem to be writing off legitimate concerns and issues just because of the solution being provided isn't very good. And I'm pretty sure it is a little more complicated than a waving of a hand but i guess you would know since you didn't watch it. They are complex issues but one of the main factors in the delay of these technologies is the profit that is being made from the use of oil and as long as oil becomes more scarce, the demand will rise and more money will be made. This is kinda like what they teach you when you get a new job for the first time, you know, "it's cheaper to keep a customer than to sign a new one". It take it a step further, when dealing with abundant resources like sunlight, wind, etc, etc, multinational corporations can not justify charging such extreme rates thus greatly reducing their profits. I really don't see how you are missing this. "Okay, I'll bite. What is the Peter Joseph's proposed solution to creating non-scarce energy sources? Please be as specific as possible. What's the proposed path from "no more currency" to "abundant energy"?"Why don't you try seeing what the man has to say about it himself? it seems like that would have been a lot easier and more professional.

  56. 56
    Christopher Miller

    @Keepitwolfson"Why don't you try seeing what the man has to say about it himself? it seems like that would have been a lot easier and more professional."Why did you come here to defend the idea and then refuse to defend the idea? That's absurd.

  57. 57
    Kazim

    Well obviously, Chris, "Go watch the video" is a stalling tactic. The entirety of the last two movies fills up nearly five hours worth of time, and obviously not much of it is going to be devoted to actually answering the question. Even if I attempt to drag the needle of relevant information out of wolf's haystack of agitprop, it won't advance the conversation that much because most of the OTHER commenters will not have seen it.Arguing in video format is very much more cumbersome than providing written responses, but it allows you to insist that "The answer is probably in there somewhere, you go find it," which is why it's so handy.

  58. 58
    Mamba24

    This person seems to be defending the zeitgeist ideas, but then claims not to be following the zeitgeist ideas. Basically he is trying to keep the label off himself because he thinks by doing this the idea's become more plausible. It's reminds me of theist's who make arguments for the existence of god, but when asked to present their arguments, they just link you to some you-tube video. Then they get mad or defensive when you don't watch it because you want them to actually argue for themselves, not resort to appeals from authority. Then when you write off their idea, they accuse you of "not wanting to better our current state."So is this person actually going to make an argument for why this "resourced based economy" is a legitimate/plausible idea? Or is he just going to keep referring to the movie and labeling us as some pessimistic fools?

  59. 59
    IfNotNowWhen

    "As an analogy, you might just as well ask "What is the goal of the Internet?" And I don't mean in a general sense, as in "To allow people to disseminate information." I mean instead "What message do the people posting on the Internet collectively wish to convey?" On the Internet, you can find liberal and conservative messages, pro-life and pro-choice messages, Jewish support groups and Neo-Nazi sympathizers, Peter Joseph promoting the Venus Project and me making fun of the Venus Project""hm… as an analogy, I'm going to completely change your question" We must have different concepts of analogy… I think you've answered my question without noticing :)You are right, the internet's GLOBAL goal is to facilitate communication.Which messages, is irrelevant in the same way is irrelevant which products is the economy wasting everyday. The reason the internet works and the economy doesn't it's because the internet was created based on the SM and the economy was created based on unrealistic assumptions.I did write a couple of pages about it and this is what you take from it? Good thing I understand human conditioning…Anyway don't get me wrong, the traditional economists didn't have computers at the time, so they gave an important contribution with the little tools they had.The same way the people that invented money didn't know about renewable energies and mechanization.But we should know better now, we have all this information, we have no more excuses than the religious people. A lot of the things that religions meant to explain the SM explains better and the same with the outrageous economic assumptions, that you apparently give so little importance to.How can I make this clearer? This economic game we are playing is going to destroy the planet.Maybe we should not try to solve it, because we might fail the first couple of times. I would say we have no other choice. I mean, I'm glad you are having fun, but human extinction can only be entertaining to a certain extent… lolSo we shouldn't try to live, because you in your infinite wisdom, don't thing long term human survival will work… OK let me tell you something:First, usually when people are against trying something new, they are more afraid that it might work than the opposite, if we try and fail, you finally have the prove you were right, isn't that what you want? (Still won't solve human extinction thou)Second, the most intelligent person of the 19th century didn't think it would be possible to fly a plane.Neither you, me or anyone that will ever read or write this blog will ever be as intelligent as that person…If we can't learn something from this, then you are right, it is very funny and we probably deserve our fate, lol

  60. 60
    cdogknight666

    "Okay, I'll bite. What is the Peter Joseph's proposed solution to creating non-scarce energy sources? Please be as specific as possible. What's the proposed path from "no more currency" to "abundant energy"?"By using renewable energy sources: tide, wind, solar, geothermal you can provide for the population that currently exsists on the planet. Will oil still have to be used in the interim while we transition to renewables? Yes. But you also have to couple this approach with educating people on conservation. I'm pretty sure thats what the movement is advocating. A value systems shift combined with using technology. What you have in our current system is waste of the earths resources like oil on useless transport. Why not put vertical farms in every city? Because there is no money in it.

  61. 61
    IfNotNowWhen

    "Basically he is trying to keep the label off himself because he thinks by doing this the idea's become more plausible."You know why that might be the case? Because some people thing they can condece 3 trillion different ideas into one label. So they pick one little point they understand and convince themselves they understand all the rest…"Then they get mad or defensive when you don't watch it because you want them to actually argue for themselves, not resort to appeals from authority. Then when you write off their idea, they accuse you of "not wanting to better our current state."I've already addressed the defensiveness conditioning, the only way you can make sure you not doing exactly the same, is by testing your believes using an impartial tool like the Scientific method, when was the last time the economy was tested that way? I personalty have no interest in you watching that film, I talk to people to learn not to change their minds, I would learn more with you if you had the same information as me, but other people are probably not afraid of watching it, so I can always learn with them…Nevertheless, I also find amazing to comment a film without watching it, talk about appeals from authority… lolSo I guess someone wrongly accused you of not wanting to better our current state…hm… well I will be very interested to ear what do you propose to solve the current situation, maybe I'm missing something… I hope it doesn't go against Einstein's definition of Insanity, thou.

  62. 62
    Mamba24

    "Nevertheless, I also find amazing to comment a film without watching it, talk about appeals from authority… lol"(other than my own brain)-lol, really? Could you please point out who I am appealing to?"So I guess someone wrongly accused you of not wanting to better our current state…"-No not personally. lol I was speaking generally of everybody."hm… well I will be very interested to ear what do you propose to solve the current situation, maybe I'm missing something… I hope it doesn't go against Einstein's definition of Insanity, thou."-lol, I'm not an economist, so naturally I don't sit at my computer with my thumb up my butt pretending like I have some grand solution to fixing our economy and proposing some futuristic resource system that would solve all corruption and economic flaws….But if I did, I would at least defend my ideas instead of resorting to emotional rhetoric and asking the skeptic to present his own grand solution to save the world, or direct everyone who disagrees with you to some homemade movie. But that's just my scoop on the matter. lol

  63. 63
    IfNotNowWhen

    So basically, you learn nothing and you teach nothing… at least you are honest :)As I said I'm here to learn.I really want to know why something that looks so obvious to me, it's so hard to accept for so many people.I've formulated a couple of hypotheses to test:1 – I might have been conditioned to accept unrealistic ideas – so I want to test it using the SM, anyone knows any better ways?2 – I might have some vested interest in other people thinking like me – well it can't be money there is no profit in Z ideas, and I already said that the most effective way of assuring me and my family are happy is for everyone to be happy, so that is not vested…3 – The ideas are good, but other people were conditioned against it or have a vested interest no to accept it – I ear a lot about laziness and communism maybe I should address those next. 4 – none of the above – Can someone come up with any other ones? :)

  64. 64
    IfNotNowWhen

    "Could you please point out who I am appealing to? "Appealing to your "opninion", without any information or way to test it, other than the way you were conditioned by authority :)

  65. 65
    Mike

    I wasted 5 hours of my life watching those movies. They were ridiculous and not only playing fast and loose with both history and science, they are utterly ignorant of basic human behaviour and human action as it relates to economics.It really is "Socialism with robots!" and is to the point that the adherents don't even recognize they are regurgitating and re-purposing Marxism (another ZM history fail).Basically they are recommending a centralized command and control economy, while ignoring that both economics and evolution are bottom up emergent orders with no need of any central authority.Kazim was right without watching. he is a Prophet!!!;-)

  66. 66
    Mamba24

    "So basically, you learn nothing and you teach nothing… at least you are honest :)"- lol yeah and you learn nothing and you pretend to teach something.(Cause you haven't actually presented any arguments for your ideas) You've basically just said.."Well it just looks so obvious to me, I just can't understand why others don't agree with me. That's like a creationist saying, "Well everything just looks so obviously created to me, I just don't understand why others can't agree with me. (argument from ignorance)"Appealing to your "opninion", without any information or way to test it, other than the way you were conditioned by authority :)"-LOL Oh yeah I'm sorry, next time I won't use my rational/skeptical brain(which apparently is an appeal to authority), I will make sure to switch it with my gullible one that wasn't conditioned to be skeptical/rational and apparently doesn't appeal to authority….-There isn't anything to "test" about my opinion, because I'm not the one proposing these idea's. It kind of seems to me like shifting the BOP, you don't feel like you really need to defend your ideas, so instead you ask the skeptic to prove why being skeptical is the rational position to take. And then you wonder why people disagree with you, so you work out "hypotheses" to consider…..great buddy, this still doesn't answer the original question. What makes the 'resource based economy' so plausible, and why do you think it would work?

  67. 67
    IfNotNowWhen

    Mamba24Ok so baby steps:Have you read all my comments on this topic?I have raised a lot points and you have replied to none, just so you can convince yourself and say : "you haven't actually presented any arguments for your ideas" "It looks obvious to me" was the last thing I said not the only one :)let me just give you an extract of older comments if you are too lazy to scroll up… lol:"The biggest prove scarcity is less real than advocated is waste, 2 piles of rubbish the size of Texas in the oceans…Productivity is contrary to employment, 80% of the working populations, create problems to pretend to solve it, because we have this conditioning that only people with jobs should have access to resources.Only 20% of the current jobs can not be done by machines.Money does not reward social contribution.Profit is milking problems not solving it.Ownership is an artificial concept that generates waste. Atheist know that when we die everything we “own”, including our body guests reused, so why can’t we just concentrate in usage while we are alive?"I've written about 5 pages of points just like these lolBut I guess you are not watching the film for the same reason you don't scroll up, so you can rely on the comfort of ignorance. An opinion without information means nothing."There isn't anything to "test" about my opinion, because I'm not the one proposing these idea's"Do you want to rethink that one? lolSo let me see if I understand that one right:You don't believe in evolution. You just basic a sceptical to new ideas not old ones… lol You know that sometimes the need for new ideas comes from the old ones being outdated, right? That is what happens when you live in a complex adaptive system…So what you are saying is that, if you defend an old idea, you have permission to close you mind to the world, for example you don't have to prove that horse wagons are faster than planes if that is what you believe, because planes were invented after… just great!!!And the question is that I am willing to try to prove to you that a resource based economy is better than the current one, but I can only do that in the same way I can prove you planes are faster :)By trying, using the scientific method, if you are too afraid to try, there will be a lot of thing you will never know: "A man that never failed is a man that never tried anything new" I guess that is your final goal, which I'm fine with, I just won't expect to learn anything from you, that is all… ;)

  68. 68
    Mamba24

    "I have raised a lot points and you have replied to none, just so you can convince yourself and say : "you haven't actually presented any arguments for your ideas" -No you really haven't, you have simply pointed out irrelevant facts about there being a lot of waste by humans, only people with jobs have access to resources, the percentage of jobs that can be done with machines, and that ownership is an artificial concept….so what? LOL none of these facts lead to the conclusion that a resource based economy is plausible or that it would even work. When I asked for an argument, I asked your opinion of how this economy would operate and function…..not what flaws in our current economy you could find. You don't get brownie points for posting irrelevant information."Do you want to rethink that one? lol"-…..nope. lol I am pretty sure I made myself clear on what I meant by that."You know that sometimes the need for new ideas comes from the old ones being outdated, right?"-Sure…..I agree. lol I don't think anyone here is saying that we shouldn't try and find better ideas about how to run our world…."So what you are saying is that, if you defend an old idea, you have permission to close you mind to the world, for example you don't have to prove that horse wagons are faster than planes if that is what you believe, because planes were invented after… just great!!!"-LOL Yes! I was right! Now I can say that I have been personally accused of "Not wanting to better our current state" Simply because I exercise skeptical thinking….Thanks for proving my point buddy..Great analogy by the way…"And the question is that I am willing to try to prove to you that a resource based economy is better than the current one, but I can only do that in the same way I can prove you planes are faster :)"-Wow.. So apparently any idea we come up with should be considered like an airplane, and our old ideas should considered like horse wagons! Yeah that's a good way to try and make idea's sound more plausible, make false analogies and say "See! My idea is awesome! Ha Ha!""By trying, using the scientific method, if you are too afraid to try, there will be a lot of thing you will never know: "A man that never failed is a man that never tried anything new" -Yeah let's just temporarily implement this new economic system and see what happens like it's just an ordinary scientific experiment, and if it doesn't work, no biggie, we just switch back to capitalism. Should be just so easy. (eye rolling)"I guess that is your final goal, which I'm fine with, I just won't expect to learn anything from you, that is all… ;)"-It's not my job to teach anyone here about how economies work, so I wouldn't expect you to learn anything from me. Doesn't mean I can't exercise some rational thinking buddy. But since you are so keen and confident in your ideas, I wouldn't understand why you would bother talking to people on a blog…..

  69. 69
    Mamba24

    What I mean is surely you should take this idea of a resource based economy up with the experts, you know…actual people with real credentials in economics? Hmmm. Doesn't seem like you are going to accomplish much typing away on an atheist blog.

  70. 70
    IfNotNowWhen

    Mamba, so do you agree that the current system is going to lead to human self-destruction or not?You are making more sense now mate, but I still can't see where you stand…What I said is not irrelevant because we can't understand the solutions until we understand or even see the problems…The reason I'm writing in this blog is because I value everyone's motives, some people are afraid of some of these ideas and and I just want to understand why.I mean, the 1% of the world that controls 40% of the resources I can understand better, even thou then can't use it all, they waste most of it, and they could use the same amount in a RBE, so it's all in their heads… but what I perceive as being slaves fighting for their masters, that, always puzzles me.Also, because for me money and economics are the new religion and you guys are suppose to be the experts in tackling irrational believes. I just wanted to see if I could get some help. :) I am not certain of any of my ideas that is why I want to test it, again, the state of being certain can probably only be accomplished by ignoring ignorance.The economist "specialists" have a vested interested in propagating certain ideas, currently you can't really thrust anyone when their economic interests are involved and that is most of the world, which is really sad.

  71. 71
    Keepitwolfson

    @Christopher Miller, I didn't come here to defend anything. I visit this blog occasionally and saw this. I decided to leave a comment because of how disappointed with this I was. It's a poorly written review that reads more like an absurd hit piece, not like a well thought out rebuttal to Josephs VP. While the film does harp on about the ridiculous VP shit, it does so because of ACTUAL problems that we will eventually have to face. I understand disagreeing with VP but when you focus only on that it creates a type of strawman debate. @Kazim,Well obviously, Chris, "Go watch the video" is a stalling tactic. The entirety of the last two movies fills up nearly five hours worth of time, and obviously not much of it is going to be devoted to actually answering the question. Even if I attempt to drag the needle of relevant information out of wolf's haystack of agitprop, it won't advance the conversation that much because most of the OTHER commenters will not have seen it.Arguing in video format is very much more cumbersome than providing written responses, but it allows you to insist that "The answer is probably in there somewhere, you go find it," which is why it's so handy. This is by no means a stall tactic, it's actually quite the opposite. I don't want to spend days going back and forth with someone who is obviously completely biased. I thought that maybe since this was The Atheist Experience people would be a little more open. If anything you could be seen as the one stalling. You have yet to even go over anything presented by the film or by any commenter. Everything has been some sort of ambiguous statements and insulting/condescending retorts. So basically you feel you just because the films are too long and not enough people have seen them it would be rather pointless to a foster a REAL discussion? It slightly upsets me to see such absurdity from a blog i did have respect for.I haven't tried to argue in video format. I just merely suggested you do your job for yourself as opposed to have me fill you in. I just think if you are going to review something you should at least use the product in question. To do otherwise is not only unprofessional but seethes arrogance. Actions like these are typically things you see on right wing and christian fundamentalists sites, but apparently obfuscation, dichotomies, and strawman arguments have made their way here. @Mamba24,I suggest you learn to read. I have not once defended a resource based economy or have even refereed to one. As I've stated, I think VP is a fallacy, but that doesn't mean every critique of the current social economic state is wrong. A lot of the ideas put forth in the movie are not even Josephs to begin with and just because a certain topic it is brought up in the movie doesn't make it synonymous with VP. That is my biggest problem with this "review" in general. I'm not posturing or trying to not be associated with anything. You can make your little arrogant hypocritical statements but just realize you are doing the exact same thing especially when it comes to not responding to something and referring back to whatever seems to be the status quo belief. Obviously wasting me time here. It's very obvious that no one here is willing to have a discuss of any value. Good day, gents…

  72. 72
    Mamba24

    "Mamba, so do you agree that the current system is going to lead to human self-destruction or not?"-I never said that our current system is perfect or that it isn't harmful to our planet in certain aspects. So that's something we can agree on. I am all for alternative energy resources and improving our efficiency of living. I am all for progressive ideas and thinking, and I am not opposed to new ideas. Once again my knowledge of economics isn't abundant, but with what I do understand, there are just some ideas that are a little far-fetched……But I hope I'm wrong, I hope someone can come up with the perfect system or a much better one at the least. So just because I scoff at "far out there" ideas, doesn't mean I'm necessarily right or ignorant. "What I said is not irrelevant because we can't understand the solutions until we understand or even see the problems…"-And there is people at work on those problems, leave it to the experts."Also, because for me money and economics are the new religion and you guys are suppose to be the experts in tackling irrational believes. I just wanted to see if I could get some help. :)"-No I wouldn't consider myself or anyone here an expert.(Well maybe on certain issues dealing with religious beliefs, but not in irrational beliefs altogether)

  73. 73
    Mamba24

    "I am not certain of any of my ideas that is why I want to test it, again, the state of being certain can probably only be accomplished by ignoring ignorance."-And I'm saying that this probably isn't the best place to test your "economic ideas". Again, take it up with economists, college economy professors, whatever…All I'm saying is you would be better off talking to people who share similar interests with you on these issues. They would be the one's who could give you valid and good feedback. Rummaging around blogs and debating people with lacking credentials in this particular field isn't going to make your ideas more plausible or acceptable."The economist "specialists" have a vested interested in propagating certain ideas, currently you can't really thrust anyone when their economic interests are involved and that is most of the world, which is really sad."-I agree, doesn't mean we can't have intelligent/rational discussions with them though.

  74. 74
    cdogknight666

    Religion relies on those who refuse to challenge the status quo. In a way you are against what you propose. You have the same amount of "faith" in our economic system as christians have in the bible. The economic system is the new religion. When you say it has never been tested it's like saying Atheism has never been tested. WTF is your point?

  75. 75
    Mamba24

    Wow…You are putting yourself on some pretty shaky ground by equating economic systems with religions.(Since the two have nothing to do with each other) Firstly one doesn't need faith in their own economy, because we have evidence that our economies exist(hey hey) and work.(Though they have their flaws). So making false analogies doesn't make your ideas more plausible. Also, atheism isn't remotely similar to your analogy. Atheism is a lack of belief in a god, we don't have our own dogma/belief system. So equating the "resource based economy" with atheism is also a false analogy, since you are proposing a new ideology basically. Atheism doesn't do that.Basically what you should be saying is that you want to replace our current religion (capitalism), with your own new religion (RBE). If anything, it's the people proposing the 'RBE' that would need to resort to faith. (Since there isn't any evidence it would actually work)

  76. 76
    IfNotNowWhen

    Yes Mamba you are absolutely right, I think we have closed a cycle here.My initial thoughts seem correct now, the first thing to address needs to be the concept of reality. That was actually what my first 2 comments on this post were about. But then your mate Kazim call it: "empty platitudes" and I just assumed I was stating the obvious… :)If you read my first 2 posts you will get probably a better explanation of what I mean:Religions, the economy, the Z ideas, maths, science or atheism are all equally unreal.They are just models to interpret reality.Even what you see with your eyes is not reality.What you see as a human are just reflexes of light in the things you are looking at, which gets passed by your eyes on to your brain as an image, to understand this is what being a septic means…Reality by definition doesn't change, and different animals receive different images when they look at the same thing, so no one knows reality it self, they just know their interpenetration of it.So none of these models is real, the dangerous part happens when we start confusing what reality is, with the models we use to interpret it.Religion and science have different interpretations of the same realities.If you ask me what the BETTER model is, I will reply science, because we can test it' conclusions using the scientific method (SM) and also science never rests in one answer, it assumes we can never find the "right" answer, we can only find the best according to current knowledge. And this fits with what is reality better, because we will never reach it.The economic models rely on many believes that are similar to religious believe, the best example is the "invisible hand", also they have stagnated for too many years now. What I interpret from the Z ideas, is that they want to replace the current economic model with science.And as any scientific process the final outcome will depend of the results of the several experiments along the way done according to the SM.We put our lives in the hands of the SM method every time we fly a plane, drive a car or cross a bridge, why not put the rest of our problems to be solved in the same way?A common misconception is to compare the economy to evolution. I think that is Apples and Oranges and they probably can only be the same thing when one believes in God or something supernatural.The economy is a model created by man to handle the complexity of reality, evolution is one of the things that contributes to the complexity we want to handle using the economic models.There is no life without evolution, there was plenty of life before the economy and there will be a lot more after, as well. If you believe that the economy and evolution are the same, then someone must have created animals as we create businesses or central banks or created DNA as we create financial rules.If that someone existed, that someone could only have been God lolI must say I don't know enough about the atheist model to know if it is closer to the economy or to maths in terms of it's rigour. But maybe you can help me in that point… I mean I don't see how atheism and Zeitgeist are incompatible, on the contrary…peace,Ca Ferr

  77. 77
    Mamba24

    "We put our lives in the hands of the SM method every time we fly a plane, drive a car or cross a bridge, why not put the rest of our problems to be solved in the same way?"-I agree, that doesn't mean that any idea we come up with is plausible/realistic. I wish we could test it, but that would be extremely hard to do when it comes to economics. Like Kazim said, it's not like we are testing a new model of gravity. This is a system that effects people's lives…To just implement a new economic systems as "tests" could be very dangerous to a society and it's inhabitants. That's why it must be deemed realistic by people who actually know what they are talking about, economists. Just because you have a college degree in business doesn't make you qualified to defend these ideas."The economy is a model created by man to handle the complexity of reality, evolution is one of the things that contributes to the complexity we want to handle using the economic models."-…uh sure? Yeah I agree that biological evolution has absolutely nothing to do with economics. I would say economies were created to better regulate and control our societies/civilizations. To regulate our resources and better our way of living. Evolution has nothing to do with this. Evolution is a natural process that works according to the physical/natural laws of the universe. Economics is a human invention. "If you believe that the economy and evolution are the same, then someone must have created animals as we create businesses or central banks or created DNA as we create financial rules."-And I don't think they're even remotely similar, so I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove.

  78. 78
    Mamba24

    "I must say I don't know enough about the atheist model to know if it is closer to the economy or to maths in terms of it's rigour. But maybe you can help me in that point… I mean I don't see how atheism and Zeitgeist are incompatible, on the contrary…"-There is no "atheist model", atheism is simply a position. The position that one lacks a belief/ beliefs there is no god. That's it. Atheism has nothing to do with anything else. Not economics, not politics, not science, not conspiracy theories, whatever.. So I'm not sure what you are trying to say here, that you think because you're an atheist, that you must adhere to the zeitgeist ideas??….Yeah if that's what your view is, then you might to need to re-evaluate what it means to be atheist, and what it means to be a skeptic.

  79. 79
    IfNotNowWhen

    OK Mamba that is fair enough, at least you didn't come up with the communism, laziness human nature brainless arguments so there is no need to address those, I guess this means you are more intelligent than average…I understand your points of view, nevertheless I hope that next time someone tries to justify something that resembles more like legalised slavery than anything else, with a "recession", you can remember that a recession is nothing more than huge symptom of an outdated system.I was going to address the communism and human nature myths, but those are really really well explained in the last film. :)So thanks for the replies glad we could have a constructive talk. Good luck continuing pissing off religious people :), but if you ever try to really understand why people resort to religion you will realise that most of these problems have a common solution. ;)all the best,Ca Ferr

  80. 80
    Mamba24

    "I understand your points of view, nevertheless I hope that next time someone tries to justify something that resembles more like legalized slavery than anything else, with a "recession", you can remember that a recession is nothing more than huge symptom of an outdated system."-What? So you are equating capitalism with legalized slavery? wow… "Good luck continuing pissing off religious people."- Will do. ;)"but if you ever try to really understand why people resort to religion you will realize that most of these problems have a common solution."- lol Yeah I have a pretty good understanding of why people resort to religion, it's called indoctrination.(which teaches wishful thinking without rational thought)

  81. 81
    cdogknight666

    Basically what you should be saying is that you want to replace our current religion (capitalism), with your own new religion (RBE). If anything, it's the people proposing the 'RBE' that would need to resort to faith. (Since there isn't any evidence it would actually work) So the invisible hand of the market according to Smith is not religious? If you think that self-interest, competition, and supply and demand magically coming together to provide for us all is somehow not religious then what is? Our economic system does not put human need at the top of the list my friend. It puts profit there. Thats why in America for example you have some people that have a billion dollars and others that have nothing. It's never truly worked. It's a system that accounts for the people at the top. I might also add that the venus project does advocate building a test city to see how it might all work. This isn't like testing gravity by dropping an apple. In order to change societal structure you have to go forward step by step. It does no good to put people who would waste money buying gold "grills" in an rbe enviornment. They wouldn't understand it. You have to change peoples values. Our current system encourages people to buy things that they don't need and its destructive to the enviornment and human beings overall. You have to admit that.

  82. 82
    Mamba24

    Keepitwolfson said.."I suggest you learn to read. I have not once defended a resource based economy or have even refereed to one." As I've stated, I think VP is a fallacy, but that doesn't mean every critique of the current social economic state is wrong."-Wow talk about straw-man, who the hell said that no one could critique our current economic state? lol I mean I don't think anyone here is advocating that our economy is perfect. If you didn't notice buddy this thread is about the Venus project..That's what we are talking about. (So apparently I can read) We aren't here to talk about what flaws we can find in our current state, it's about whether or not this idea of a "RBE" is a realistic goal, whether it would work. So your little emotional rant is quite unnecessary and irrelevant to this discussion.Keepitwolfson said.."A lot of the ideas put forth in the movie are not even Josephs to begin with and just because a certain topic it is brought up in the movie doesn't make it synonymous with VP."-Yeah we are aware that the VP isn't even Joseph's idea, thanks for pointing that out. Keepitwolfson said.."That is my biggest problem with this "review" in general. I'm not posturing or trying to not be associated with anything. You can make your little arrogant hypocritical statements but just realize you are doing the exact same thing especially when it comes to not responding to something and referring back to whatever seems to be the status quo belief."-Basically you didn't bring up anything relevant to this thread. So far out of this post all you seem to have done is…A.) Accuse me of not being able to read. (That's debatable but lets move on. ;)B.) Accused us of not allowing criticism of our economic system. (Not true)C.) Pointed out that the ideas in the VP aren't Peter Joseph's. (We agree)D.) Accused us of making arrogant hypocritical statements. (Debatable once again, maybe you could point out these statements of ours, or Kazim's if you are referring to the main blog post.)E.) Accused us of not responding to something.(What is this "something"? lol)F.) And finally accused us of referring to the status quo belief.(The status quo belief being…..what? lol Exercising a little skepticism towards a unrealistic idea that you yourself apparently agree with?)-"I have not once defended a resource based economy or have even refereed to one. As I've stated, I think VP is a fallacy."…..-Who's being hypocritical buddy?

  83. 83
    Mamba24

    "So the invisible hand of the market according to Smith is not religious? If you think that self-interest, competition, and supply and demand magically coming together to provide for us all is somehow not religious then what is?"-Wow. I would first direct you towards a dictionary to look up the word "Religion". Because you don't seem to understand the word and think that self-interest,competition, and supply and demand are somehow religious?? You aren't making much sense here buddy, your little analogies aren't helping you out much. lol"Our economic system does not put human need at the top of the list my friend. It puts profit there. Thats why in America for example you have some people that have a billion dollars and others that have nothing. It's never truly worked. It's a system that accounts for the people at the top."-Okay great buddy, what's all this have to do with whether or not a RBE is plausible/realistic? Pointing out flaws in our current economic system doesn't buy you brownie points, and is totally irrelevant to this thread. As I have already pointed out numerous times no one here is claiming that we live in a perfect system. So cut the emotional rhetoric and get to the point."I might also add that the venus project does advocate building a test city to see how it might all work. This isn't like testing gravity by dropping an apple. In order to change societal structure you have to go forward step by step."-And how do you know that a little test city would be representative of an entire country? The whole world? But hey if they want to try that, then I guess it's worth a try I suppose. If it ever happens let me know how it works out.;)"It does no good to put people who would waste money buying gold "grills" in an rbe enviornment. They wouldn't understand it. You have to change peoples values. Our current system encourages people to buy things that they don't need and its destructive to the enviornment and human beings overall. You have to admit that."-Yeah I agree we don't live in a perfect world……Our economic system has flaws/corruption…Thanks for that irrelevant bit of information.(Not that it's not important to address the problems in the world, just that it has nothing to do with whether or not your idea will work.)

  84. 84
    IfNotNowWhen

    There is something I don't understand Mamba :) the economy paradigms are not just imperfect, they will lead to human self destruction.That is not just a minor inconvenience, that we can leave to the experts… lolIf the "expert" would have the will to solve it, it would be solved by now. :) To think that shooting fish in a pond, which is basically what criticizing religions is, is a good use of your time, it's fine. If you want to live your life without caring about what happens to your grandchildren, I told you already, I understand that point of view. But you can't say that atheists have no view about the economy, because you can't talk about Zeitgeist without a view on the economy, that is what is all about. I was not the one that decided to do this post, I just want to understand what is the motivation behind addressing ideas you are clueless about is. If you tell me that the atheist experience is making good money now, and that they see equality as everyone having less, or if is some kind of ego issue, I will also understand that point of view.What Z defends is that equality is the only way we will all contribute to eradicate scarcity, and that means that the poorest of us can have access to more amount of usage than the current wealthiest of us, if we just stop fighting each other wasting the planet and all its resources in wars, prisons, ownership, profit, competition and other idiocies.The worst enemy of a Lion are not other Lions the worst enemy of a Lion is scarcity of food and water. The problem is that some of the misinformation propagated here, will just help in delaying the solution for very important problems and to be honest, we are running out of time."Wow. I would first direct you towards a dictionary to look up the word "Religion". Because you don't seem to understand the word and think that self-interest,competition, and supply and demand are somehow religious?? You aren't making much sense here buddy, your little analogies aren't helping you out much. lol"That is just not honest now :) he said that economists believe that self-interest,competition, and supply and demand will magically provide for everyone… lolIt is the BELIEVE he is addressing, there is no point in cherry piking some words in the middle of a sentence. lolThat is the idea that is being sold to the slaves everyday.In other words, don't worry if you are a slave now, because one day you might have your own slaves lolWell if you are against slavery that opinion can't change regardless if you are a slave or a slave owner. That is what is wrong with the world, people use labels as a way to stop trying to understand other peoples motivations, so they end up doing the same they criticize.

  85. 85
    IfNotNowWhen

    "Okay great buddy, what's all this have to do with whether or not a RBE is plausible/realistic?"OK let me just address this point which just sounds like escapism to me.Imagine if I prove to you and the rest of the world right now that a RBE is not only possible but the best way to benefit all humans according to current knowledge. what do you think will happen?Let me answer that for you: NOTHING.And that is the real issue here, that is what I am trying to address. You want me to prove something to you when you know perfectly well that that won't make any difference in the current environment. That is just dishonest. Currently if something threatens enough people's economic interests it won't get done, even if that something is trying to save their life's.And that is blocking a lot of possible solutions without even giving it a fair chance.I want to prove it, but if people don't want something to be right, they will do everything to keep it from being tested.Also, to prove that something works or not, is irrelevant when you live in a system when it doesn't matter if something works, it matter if you can make a profit with it (and usually if you really solve a problem the profit is gone) that is why it is important to address that first. So the current blocks of the current economy are important, otherwise you will won't even be able to tell the difference between, something that really doesn't work and something that everyone you have been conditioned to thrust, tells you won't work.To build the first city, which is a good way to start testing some of these concepts, would affect people's life's? lol really? The current system will kill us all, is there any worse affects than that? lol"Yes it may save our life's, but something worse might happen, we may loose our jobs" lolYou don't think that humans have forgotten what we started fighting for, in the first place?This believe that my job is more important than long term human survival doesn't sound a bit religious to you? we are all walking suicidal bombers… lolCan you please give an example of one, just one, innovation that was not perceived as threatening by anyone, when it was first proposed?That doesn't mean that all innovations are always good but it means that every time you used fear based arguments not to enable something to be tested, is always bad.OK so you and me, can probably come up with a business that instead of rewarding ownership will reward problem solving, like a transitional stage for money. Surely you will not be afraid that creating a business will "affect" people's life's… :)So a business that will generate no profit will have no stock holders, and as a worker if you manage to contribute to your replacement by a machine you can go home, and still get the same pay less the costs of running that machine.The products that this business will make will not break, they will be fully upgradable and compatible, so there is no need to trash it ever, and no need for any other product on that market, problem solved ;)Everyone will have access to how the product is made and can make suggestions to improve it, soon there will be no profit in this market and the business can move on to solving the next problem.People won't fear it because everyone's dream is to get paid, with no work, so you can still contribute to society, but this time you are REALLY free to choose what you want to do. And the more problems you solve the more payments you can accumulate…When you get replaced by a machine the same food exists in the world and machines don't eat. So I can't see why can't I eat the same food without a job? (I do have a job by the way, but what motivates is the problems I solve everyday, not the money I make) If unemployment was irrelevant, do you think people would be so afraid of innovation and really solving problems?

  86. 86
    IfNotNowWhen

    And please don't give me that crap about human nature and laziness, because children do not get paid to paint or to ask questions and try to understand the world, money does not motivate people, problem solving does.And don't tell me that to reduce scarcity is impossible, because while waste exists is always possible to reduce scarcity more, and we have to piles of it the size of Texas in the Oceans…It is more than proven that money only motivates people when they are just doing repetitive or sales or manual boring labour that could either be done by machines or not be necessary at all.And that is why we should stop ignoring the impact that technology can really have, if we let it, in all of humanity's well-being.Can you please give an example of something with a goal of improving people's life's, you can prove works without testing it? Or as you call it: "without affecting people"? I mean I think it is a bit dishonest to only accept as a valid argument something that you know to be impossible.Later,Ca Ferr

  87. 87
    IfNotNowWhen

    "Wow. I would first direct you towards a dictionary to look up the word "Religion". Because you don't seem to understand the word and think that self-interest, competition, and supply and demand are somehow religious?? You aren't making much sense here buddy, your little analogies aren't helping you out much. lol"Mamba common you can do better than that :) He said that the BELIEVE that self-interest, competition, and supply and demand will magically provide for all humans, if you only comply, is very similar to religious believes. He was comparing the “believes”, not the words in the middle of a sentence. lolThat is actually the argument that is being used to convince the slaves. "Don't worry if you are a slave now because one day you might have your own slaves" The inconsistency… if you are against slavery that shouldn't change regardless if you are a slave or a slave owner. The current economic games are going to lead to human self-destruction, which is not just a minor inconvenience that we can just leave to the "experts". If the "experts" really had the will or even the power to solve it, it would be solved by now.Another incoherent argument is that, since you are an atheist you don't have to have an opinion about the economy, well the economy is going to kill all humans, you are not human? You should at least explain if you think that is not truth and why.I didn't make the call to put an atheist talking about the economy; I am just making comments to the original post. If Kazim has no clue how the economy works he should not be making comments about the solutions for economic problems.It's like commenting algebra without knowing numbers. Economy means managing resources by the way, just to make it clear.That can be dangerous because his opinion might delay some of the alternatives, and to be honest we are running out of time.I'm just trying to understand the motivations behind writing about something that according to you has nothing to do with atheism:1 – The first hypotheses, is that he has more information than me, and I'm not seeing things right, well not wanting to watch the films, doesn't really help him on that.2 – Maybe the atheist experience is making good money and the thinks equality will mean he will have less. This is a point of view I would understand.3- Or is some kind or ego or pride issue which I would also understand.But that is what is wrong with the world, people choose labels instead of trying to understand other people's motivations and end up doing exactly the same they criticise.What Z proposes is equality in the sense that everyone is equally free, meaning that the poorest of us could have access to more usage of resources than the richest today, it they wanted. That can be the real benefit of using technology without the waste of profit, ownership, competition wars, prisons and other idiocies.Equality is the only way to have everyone fighting for the same goal. The worst enemy of a Lion is not other Lions, the worst enemy of a Lion is scarcity of food and water, so let’s solve that together.You think Bill Gates doesn't use more stuff cause he can't afford it? He doesn't use it cause he doesn't need it?

  88. 88
    IfNotNowWhen

    People only value and use too much of most of the resources we have today because they are perceived as scarce, and this includes most eating disorders. If some lye would be propagated on the media tomorrow saying that clean oxygen is running out. You would see people inventing machines to collect it from the air, and then accumulating stocks of it hoping to make more profit in the future.People will steal it, wars would start to control countries with more, people would destroy each other’s reserves in order to get what is left. People would get poisoned for trying to breath pure oxygen and new disorders, we never had before would develop… Sounds familiar? LolAnd the most important conclusion is that even if that started as lye initially it would become true. And would probably, make someone very rich, right before we all die. LolIf the only problems we all had were real problems, that means problems common to all humans, those would be the only things that would motivate us, like finding the cure for cancer for example.

  89. 89
    Mamba24

    "OK let me just address this point which just sounds like escapism to me."-LOL WOW. It's not escapism, as you so put it, it's addressing the point..Then you go off on your little emotional tirade of pointing out flaws in our economy again and saying, "what if the RBE was realistic and worked? Oh it doesn't matter because know one would care."…..Now we are just playing the "what if" game. Then off with the dishonest accusations again like you think it makes your position more justified. You just reverted back to your old defense mechanisms that I thought we had already went through?"Yes it may save our life's, but something worse might happen, we may loose our jobs" lol-This isn't even my quote. So you're making up false quotes now? Yes. You are endangering people's lives if you try to implement a system that isn't proven to work. Period. Saying, "oh but they will die anyway", or "It's for the good of humankind"…..doesn't justify your idea and is all emotional pleas and bold assertions. Your idea's are no more than wishful thinking buddy.(that's a religious practice) You have good intentions, but you aren't going to save the world with your unproven/unrealistic emotional laced ideas. -Also making bold assertions of there being no scarce resources is so naive. Oh look at all the waste humans produce…..Yeah…..How does this make the idea of a RBE more plausible??????? If you are truly concerned for the welfare of humanity, then donate money to charity and foundations, donate to researching better technology, whatever…You keep thinking sitting on your computer and arguing on blogs with your emotional rhetoric/wishful thinking and irrelevant facts is going to solve something….I'm sorry buddy. But we have been over all this and I don't feel like going around in circles with you. If you think that your idea's aren't going to work/be taken seriously by anybody….Then stop wasting your time with them. And try and improve our current state as much as you can.

  90. 90
    IfNotNowWhen

    How will try a RBE might kill anyone? lol You see the fear based arguments used by religions? lol

  91. 91
    Kazim

    Right… criticisms of RBE are fear based, but "HUMAN SELF-DESTRUCTION IS INEVITABLE!!!!!" is just calm, reasoned argument. Face it, buddy, at this point you're just a guy on a street corner wearing a sandwich board with "The End Is Nigh" on it, shouting at passersby that labels will destroy us all. I can't blame Mamba for responding in kind.

  92. 92
    IfNotNowWhen

    Can you just reply to this question?Can you please give an example of something, with a goal of improving people's life's.That was able to be proven as working without being tested in practice first? Or as you call it: "without affecting people"? Or without being initially perceived as threatening by anyone? lolBetter yet, can you please explain to me how the current economic model was tested before it was implemented? lolYou see where the intellectual dishonesty is? You want people to fear something we have been doing for centuries. Like it's something "Evil", when is simply trying new things lol. When the worst thing that can happens if a new city or business fails is that we learn a bit more, and the best is, that we get all to be happy lol

  93. 93
    IfNotNowWhen

    Kazim in your infinite wisdom, can you please explain to me how consuming 1.5 planets worth of resources, and counting, per year, will not lead to its destruction? lol In other words generating 100 and spending 150, using what the cave men saved, is it sustainable or are we going to have a bailout from Mars? lol

  94. 94
    Kazim

    Hang on there. Just a few minutes ago you were saying that RBEs would work because resources are not truly scarce, only perceived as scarce. Since your argument is that we are using up scarce resources faster than we have, and since, under RBE, the artificial restriction of resource usage that is implied by capital will go away, how is RBE not making things work? You just sneered at Mamba's claim that an RBE would result in more deaths, dismissing it as religious fear-mongering, refusing to even think about it, and you're still making the argument that EVERY SINGLE THING we might do BESIDES switching to your fantasy economics league will kill us because of mismanaged resources.

  95. 95
    IfNotNowWhen

    kazim I can't believe after all I've written you still there, mate. lolI must have already addressed each of those issues a least 10 times.Have you read anything I wrote? Here is a resume:The only thing that is keeping us from moving to renewable energies is the profit motive. Renewable – Sustainable.If you remove the waste that comes with ownership and competition you reduce scarcity as well.Now my question: can you please explain to me how the current economic model was tested before it was implemented?Thanks

  96. 96
    cdogknight666

    "-Wow. I would first direct you towards a dictionary to look up the word "Religion". Because you don't seem to understand the word and think that self-interest,competition, and supply and demand are somehow religious?? You aren't making much sense here buddy, your little analogies aren't helping you out much. lol"It is religious in the sense that it is taken for granite. People don't question it. People think that the current economic system provides for human need. It doesn't. Thats the point. "-And how do you know that a little test city would be representative of an entire country? The whole world? But hey if they want to try that, then I guess it's worth a try I suppose. If it ever happens let me know how it works out.;)"Well I guess this is kind of the point. The Non-Prophets radio show spent a good 20 or 30 minutes of their show trashing the idea of a rbe. They didn't say what you just said here. If they said that then fine; but they instead without even watching the fuking movie proceeded to trash it… using objections that are easily dealt with in the actual film. It's just odd to me that the response was so arrogant and egotistical. "-Yeah I agree we don't live in a perfect world……Our economic system has flaws/corruption…Thanks for that irrelevant bit of information.(Not that it's not important to address the problems in the world, just that it has nothing to do with whether or not your idea will work.)"I think it's a little funny that you can simply shrug off gaping flaws in our current economic system by simply saying that "things aren't perfect." The point I'm making is that our current economic system mind warps people into believing that they actually need to buy ridiculous things like 10 million dollar mansions. Do you think that that is an acceptable by product of our system? Secondly, Do you think that founding fathers of the United States knew that democracy would work? Isn't that how you come up with ways of organizing social structure? You try it and see if it works? So I guess your right when you say "You don't know if it will work or not" I get your point and your right! :) I just hope we get a chance to try it before the current system we live in implodes.

  97. 97
    cdogknight666

    "Right… criticisms of RBE are fear based, but "HUMAN SELF-DESTRUCTION IS INEVITABLE!!!!!" is just calm, reasoned argument. Face it, buddy, at this point you're just a guy on a street corner wearing a sandwich board with "The End Is Nigh" on it, shouting at passersby that labels will destroy us all. I can't blame Mamba for responding in kind." This is not how people resonably argue things. It's an attempt yet again to paint an opposing viewpoint as "crazy."For example:When on the radio show it is argued that "eating peas on your plate will feed people in Africa" and somehow equating that to the venus project is reasonable as an argument. WTFThat is not what the venus project is proposing and you know it. It's completely misrepresenting what they are saying.

  98. 98
    Ing

    "If you remove the waste that comes with ownership and competition you reduce scarcity as well."You also reduce incentive.

  99. 99
    Ferdinand

    Hi!I saw ZMF and it covers the theories of ressource management on a very superficial and theoretical level. The film ignores human nature itself(varying needs&skills eg.) and it ignores, as you said, all those pesty little details reality offers, where many "minor" details together form a big problem :)greetings from Austria

  100. 100
    IfNotNowWhen

    "You also reduce incentive."I agree it will reduce most of the incentive to be corrupt.As for the incentive to work, I don't work for money, I guess we need to ask the people that really like their jobs, why do they work…We would also need to find a work that no human would do for free, that is necessary without scarcity or could not be replaced by a machine.The Scientific Method (SM) is not compatible with generalizations…"film ignores human nature itself" – the film talks about the myth of a certain concept of human nature, by addressing a current misconception which is this idea that you can understand the "nature" of "something" outside the understanding of it's environment. " ignores, as you said, all those pesty little details reality offers" How many pesty little details about TVs where known before the first TV was put into practice?If your only critic, is to point out a characteristic common to all innovation, which was the main reason we invented and thrust the SM in the first place, what is your point?peace,Ca Ferr

  101. 101
    cdogknight666

    "You also reduce incentive"The incentive to work is to have a good quality of life. The incentive to learn and explore science is to make the world a better place for other human beings and yourself. That is why Einstein and others did the things they did. Not for profit. If my incentive is to gain competitive advantage over others and dominate them, then humanity will never move forward. Cooperation is the only way I can see things will progress.

  102. 102
    forrest

    Very well put. Cults like this really annoy me. The way they think the pathetic pseudo intellectual bullshit put together by an amateur is so much better then the opinions of people who have spent their lives researching an idea. In an interview Peter Joseph said one of the most common objections was "credentialism". Apparently the scholastic world is just too primitive to understand his brilliant mind!!!!!

  103. 103
    IfNotNowWhen

    Cults don't annoy me because I understand why most people join them or are defensive about it. From an abstract point of view is very hard for me to differentiate between being defensive about a job, a sports club, a country or a religion.I've once belong to a cult where everyone had to were a tie, worship money and couldn't speak their minds to their supervisors, sounds familiar? If pseudo dumbness could lead to happiness then fear driven hunger wouldn't arise with every little reality check… "Apparently the scholastic world is just too primitive to understand his brilliant mind!!!!!"Did you just compare Peter Joseph to Galilee??!!!

  104. 104
    Dani Muresan

    Americans make up 3% of the world population and spend 25% of it's resources. Why would they be unhappy with the way things are? What do they care if 1 billion people are starving (as in don't have ANYTHING to eat) as long as they can keep on living the American dream, fuck it if children are dieing of hunger. The system is fine, lets dismiss any alternative as impossible to implement. I don't think the Venus Project can supply an abundance of everything to everyone but I do think it's possible to provide everyone with equal decent lives. But of course that would suck wouldn't it? Screw them african kids, tough luck you were born in the wrong place so you're gonna die of diarrhea even thou it costs 2$ to treat. Now lets blow some gas driving around the neighborhood. After all, gas in America costs about half it does in other countries where an average salary is 200$.In many ways the mind of a capitalist is very much like the mind of a religious person. It doesn't matter how much evil there is in the world because of their "religion", if it allows them to feel good they're just gonna stick their fingers in their ears and repeat "my religion is the only truth".

  105. 105
    James Conboy

    Hi.

    Whilst I don’t agree with the first zeitgeist film in many ways, it definitely has some positives. For example, I would have never been watching shows like TAE if I didn’t watch that film first, as it sparked my interest in finding the truth behind things such as the history behind the stories from religions, and economics as a subject (due to the money creation method).

    But I do think you are overly harsh of followers the zeitgeist movement. My biggest problem being how you dismiss a person who believes in something different, or someone who takes certain sections from the movies (which do contain facts) but not others, still as a ‘conspiracy theorists’!
    With this label, you are then banding someone who believes. say, corruption exists somewhere in government, in the same realm as someone who believes the moon is made of cheese. Not directly, but I’m certain your smart enough to understand that people associate the general term of conspiracy theorist as someone a little whacky.

    As educated individuals, destroying someone’s character in this way is a terrible way to put your own point across, as you probably already know. (yet neglect to mention, something you guys apparently abhor when others do this, yet seem to accept this as ok when you do it?)

    If you were more objective and honest, you’d probably point out that most people within the movement care mostly about changing a clearly failing world economy than about any other subject within the films like AI, 9-11 and so on. The movement is about changing the monetary system, and basic math shows us why the current one has debt in built? (Again, branding AI as overlords as the goal isn’t even remotely true. Computer programs in existence now could do the jobs needed, not some all powerful sci fi invention. But again, putting people down to make yourself seem ‘cooler’ seems to be the mantra here.

    I personally am no longer part of the movement (I was for about a year, but too many in-fights and mis-focusing of ideas eventually led me to leave) but weather the RBE idea is the best one or not, any change from the current and obviously failing economic workings should really be applauded, no? Especially one that tries to keep everyone in the world fed, dressed and healthy? Something the current system doesn’t.

    So labelling those that follow TZM as ‘conspiracy theorists’ with statements such as “no punishment too severe” etc. is a little harsh, and also a little arrogant on your part. Although I personally don’t believe 9/11 was an inside job, America, as well as other countries through time, do have a proven history of false flag attacks, which if mentioned at the time, would have gotten you labelled again as a ‘conspiracy theorist’. So to claim it would be absurd to believe a country would play a part (even a small one) in its own attack, for the gain of finance and resources, is naive at best. I’m not saying they did or they didn’t. But do dismiss it out of hand is again, naive.

    Lastly (And I apologise for seeming to rant as I have a lot of respect for your show on the most part) is that attacks on people like Peter Joseph for not being ‘qualified’ to talk about these subjects, is shambolic.
    1. because you offer video responses of ‘debunking’ by people with similar, or again, no, qualifications, as acceptable counter arguments. &
    2. Because you yourselves go on public television, and to thousands of people, assert claims and opinions on subjects you yourselves have no ‘peer reviewed qualifications’ on?!

    Why should your voices on a range of subjects be taken as authority, but others like you not? You, like others, claim sources when passing on info, but when others do it, you seem to just try to discredit those people, as a way of increasing your own legitimacy?

    Again I don’t wish this to come off hateful, as I do actually love your show. But sometimes, when you see people doing the things they themselves usually point out to others as bad things, then you kinda gotta point out hypocrisy when you see it.

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