Thursday, 29 August 2013

Artificial #Scarcity An Illusory Fiction

I think "artificial scarcity" is pure fiction. Currently there is only scarcity, there is nothing artificial about any aspect of it. All distortions regarding abundance, repressed abundance, are due to scarcity. Abundance is not the absence of scarcity despite scarcity being less pronounced when things are abundant, abundance is not superabundance. Superabundance while close to Post-Scarcity is not actually Post-Scarcity, which means abundance is an aspect of scarcity. If something is truly not scarce (if something is post-scarce) it cannot be suppressed thus "artificial scarcity" is a illusion, it does not exist, it implies Post-Scarcity is being suppressed when it is actually impossible to suppress Post-Scarcity. "Artificial scarcity" is a misunderstanding of scarcity and Post-Scarcity.

Distortions of abundance, restrictions to emphasize scarcity, do not constitute artificial scarcity. Abundance is being distorted because abundance while more fruitful than severe scarcity is nevertheless scarcity. If Post-Scarcity actual existed it would be impossible to suppress it thus when people talk about "artificial scarcity" they are merely talking about scarcity. Scarcity exists in the year 2013, it will exist until at least 2033. Scarcity cannot be created when scarcity already exists.

Artificial scarcity is similar to thinking a person swimming in the ocean can become wet due to precipitation. Yes being rained on is an additional source of wetness but the person swimming in the ocean was already utterly sodden thus they could not become wetter. If someone in a boat throws a bucket of water over the person in the ocean, the type of people who believe in artificial scarcity would say a bucket of water, thrown onto the swimmer, has created artificial wetness, but you cannot really become wetter in those circumstances.

I am writing this blog-post while people are debating the possibility of US and perhaps UK launching missiles against Syria, in response to Syrians being gassed. The missile attacks could happen in a few days. People ask if the justification for war is right. I state war is not about right, war is about might. The mighty do what they want to do. War is a natural consequence of scarcity, it sadly cannot be avoided. The question is, are we sufficiently close to Post-Scarcity for war to be deemed unnecessary? I think we are too far away, or leaders don't have sufficient insight into the future.

Scarcity leads to war thus war is inevitable during times of greater scarcity. Reason cannot stop war because reason is scarce. The liberal illusion of peaceful resolution merely delays the inevitable war. Sadly I think war is the only answer. Humans simply don't listen to reason, scarcity prohibits rational responses, which is why many people believe in God and magic. I think human stupidity has possibly reached a level where only world war will suffice. In theory world war could be avoided if people could use their reasoning ability but not enough people can or are willing to use their reasoning ability. Suppression of opponents with violent force is something humans commonly need to do in situations of scarcity. It is all about fighting over limited resources. People fight when resources are tight.

Alex Jones from has published various articles via his site about pending World War III or rebels carrying out gas attacks. I actually fear Alex Jones more than our corrupt governments. Alex Jones from time to time talks about God, he believes in God. I am wary of anyone who believes in imaginary beings. Presidents or Prime Ministers often believe is God but at least they don't object to genetic engineering, synthetic biology, or stem cell research with the vigor which Alex Jones opposes science. I suspect the rule of Alex Jones would be very harsh for science and technology because he and others would be happy, I suspect, if civilization forever stayed at the farming stage of sophistication.

I think the world would be much more oppressive if Jones or other alleged freedom fighters were running affairs. Artificial scarcity is similar to the illusion of civilization, civilization is not civilized, scarcity is very real not artificial, thus people do fight. Wars do need to happen because intelligence is scarce but is it right to attack the Bashar al-Assad Syrian Government? Alex Jones does make some good points about the increasing powers of governments but on the whole I think he is more dangerous than current governments, although I am certainly no lover of governments. So, despite my distaste for governments, it could be right to launch the suggested attacks.

Are we really on the brink of WW3? I do see how WW3 could happen because people are stupid, but I think people also enjoy working themselves up into a fevered state of hysteria. People enjoy scaremongering, the expectation of the worst. I think Bashar al-Assad is a cruel man thus attacking his regime could be the right answer, perhaps it could help accelerate science, technological, and cultural progress. What do the Syrian people think? At least one Syrian is suuportive:

"Since we heard about the international community's will to do these strikes, all the people in our town are feeling for the first time that someone out there is caring about them."

Certainly there are more intelligent ways to accelerate progress but people are stupid, they don't listen to reason, thus wars happen. It can be appealing to think diplomacy is the answer but diplomacy is illusory similar to artificial scarcity. What I am certain of is the illusion of being able to live in a world free from hostility while scarcity persists. Hostility cannot be avoided while scarcity persists therefore the only question is who fights who, which reminds me of the story by Will Self, The Quantity Theory of Insanity.

Shortly after composing these thoughts the UK Parliament blocked Syrian intervention, which may also deter USA intervention. It will be interesting to see how long civil conflict lasts in Syria now. We can wonder what would have happened if military intervention had occurred. Will Syria now become stronger? Perhaps Syria will form a strong alliance with Iran to stop any future Western interventions? If war does occur in the future will it be more protracted because things were not nipped in the bud?

Anyway, moving back into focus regarding artificial scarcity, here is a previous occasion where I criticised the concept in H+ Magazine (archive):

"The enhancement of scarcity, the emphasis of scarcity, the intensification regarding aspects of scarcity, it will never constitute “artificial scarcity” similar to how one ice-cube added to the Antarctic Ice Sheet is not artificial coldness. Creating artificial scarcity is tantamount to thinking you can create artificial coldness via adding one ice-cube to the Sun."

Finally, here is one more analogy. Artificial scarcity is akin to squirting a person with a water pistol during the middle of a extremely heavy downpour, then believing you have made the person wet due, it is the belief you have created artificial wetness despite the person already being utterly drenched due to the rain.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

War Is Peace and Entertainment: Life Is Stupid

It doesn't matter what people say or do, politicians will go to war regardless of opinion. I seem to remember some of the protests against going to war with Iraq (2nd war) were the largest in history but it made no difference. If leaders want to do something they will do it regardless of what people want.

Looking on the dark nihilistic-misanthropic side of things, war can be entertaining if it is not happening to yourself, which is proven by the increase of news consumption when horror is rife, hence the phrase: if it bleeds it leads. Sometimes I think world-nuclear-war would be good fun because it would break the hellish mediocrity of a brain-dead slave-tyranny (the true state of civilization for the majority of people despite their unawareness of it).

War is like self-harming where a person cuts themselves to bloodily reveal the horror of previously hidden torment. People are largely unaware therefore crude expressions of pain can be appealing because it blatantly reveals the true depths of our abysmally stupid world. War is the actualization of typical human stupidity, it is a realization of, a culmination of, substandard human sensibilities, thus it should perhaps not be shunned.

There is utopian hope for the future but in the meantime people must suffer. Maybe blatant suffering is better due to the clarity of it, the unavoidable honesty of it, but sadly people will not make the appropriate logical connections thus it is mere entertainment.

Despite hope for the future I do not fear world-nuclear-war or any war, it would be a release from the struggle of trying to survive. I wrote these thoughts in response to this post about how "millitary should only ever be used after a referendum."

Monday, 26 August 2013

#PostScarcity #BasicIncome Political Fools

Jon Evans has written a few Post-Scarcity articles for TechCrunch. His latest article explains how failing to adjust to coming freedom could entail us plummeting "...headlong into class warfare." Below is a quote from the article, with my response afterwards.

"The trouble is, we can’t get there from here, not without wholesale changes. Machines will reduce labor, yes, great: but equally, across all of society? You must be joking. If technology cuts the demand for labor by 25%, then laborers will earn 25% less, or 25% of them will become unemployed, while all the benefits go to those who own and/or built/wrote that technology. That’s capitalism."

The fact is jobs will eventually be obsolete, which means everything will be free. Unfortunately only a minority of people believe this will actually happen. The disbelief occurs because everything being free goes completely against everything we have ever known. Scarcity is a deeply engrained aspect of life contrary to this technological epoch we are entering.

Traditionally survival depended on seizing wealth from your fellow humans. This means despite jobs in the year 2013 disappearing the political and business leaders of the world cling irrationally to their immense wealth; old habits are hard to break.

So, circa 2045 everything will be free thus nobody will need to work, but due to current ignorance of the future there could be immense turmoil during the transition. Capitalism is dying, or it is dead, but like a headless chicken the system doesn't realise it has no hope of being sustained.

The ideal pathway into utopia (everything free, no jobs) is the implementation of a Basic Income no later than 2015, which would facilitate a smooth transition to Post-Scarcity (everything being free), but the unawareness of world leaders means it's unlikely Basic Income will be implemented until 2025 at the earliest, perhaps 2035 would be more realistic considering general political stupidity.

Between now and bleated Basic Income I wouldn't be surprised if a world war occurred. The global financial crisis has been concealed but not eradicated, I suspect the problems will resurge perhaps sometime around 2015-2018, and maybe then people in power will start thinking seriously about Basic Income but by then it might be too late to avoid disaster.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Singularity 2045 on Google Plus

The Singularity 2045 Google Plus page is growing well, although I think there should be at least two million followers by now, or perhaps I am merely being too optimistic. Currently 20,100 people have the page in the circles but that figure is slowly dropping because for a while it appears Google was plugging the page to people who are not avid Singularity followers thus they are removing the page from their circles.

Anyway I am looking forward to when G+ makes embeddable posts possible, which will allow me to post a round-up of the best Singularity 2045 posts. In the meantime here is an embedded Facebook post of a G+ post, convoluted yes? I will also include the video mentioned in this post regarding whether or not Google is knowledge, and here is some more info, a slightly different angle, regarding the Facebook IBM post below.

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